Steven Utash Still Has No Memory of Mob Attack

One of the five suspects in the vicious April 2 beating of the Clinton Township tree trimmer walked out of jail Thursday, free after posting $25,000 bond. A judge previously lowered his bond from $500,000.

The family of Steven Utash has put together a Flipagram story of the Clinton Township tree trimmer's life. He is currently receiving treatment at a renowned rehab center. (Screenshot: Flipagram)
The family of Steven Utash has put together a Flipagram story of the Clinton Township tree trimmer's life. He is currently receiving treatment at a renowned rehab center. (Screenshot: Flipagram)

Steven Utash still doesn’t remember the April 2 beating that nearly killed him, sparked outrage across the country and ignited racial tensions.

Physically, the 54-year-old tree trimmer from Clinton Township is recovering, “but mentally, he has a ways to go,” Mandi Marie Emerick told The Detroit News after one of the suspects, Latrez Cummings, made bail Thursday.

Utash, who suffered severe head trauma when a mob attacked him after he stopped to give aid to a 10-year-old boy he had accidentally hit in traffic, was recently transferred to the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, a facility at the Detroit Medical Center that specializes in neurological damage and memory injuries.

Emerick was upset that Cummings, 19, was released after he made a lowered $25,000 bond. He will wear a GPS tracking device as a condition of his release, but Emerick said “it kind of freaks me out” that he will be free while her father struggles to regain his memory.

She found out about Cummings’ release from jail when police called her to get her correct address. That’s one of the places he is restricted from visiting.

Three other adults and a juvenile – who police call the instigator and the only one of the five charged with a hate crime – have been arrested and charged with assault with intent to commit murder.

The other three adults are:

  • Bruce Wimbush Jr., 17, whose bond was lowered from $500,000 to $100,000

  • James Davis, 24, whose bond was also lowered from $500,000 to $100,000

  • Wonzey Saffold, 30, whose bond hearing was continued

August trial dates have been set for the four adults charged in the vicious attack.

The 16-year-old, whose name is not being used by Patch, is charged with assault and ethnic intimidation and will be tried June 23 in juvenile court. He reportedly admitted that he attacked Utash because he is white and the 10-year-old he accidentally struck with his vehicle was black. All five suspects are also black.

The juvenile’s trial is scheduled for June 23.

The Utash family is raising money to defray the medical bills being incurred by their father, who has no health-care insurance, on the online fundraising site Go Fund Me, where donations currently stand at $186,758.

A Flipagram tribute shows Utash with his children, grandchildren and others. A Facebook page has also been established for people to communicate with Utash’s family.
Elizabeth Clark May 08, 2014 at 06:20 PM
This is beyond shocking, and his bail never should have been lowered.
Belle May 09, 2014 at 12:05 AM
I TOTALLY AGREE THIS SHOULD NEVER BE A BAIL. THIS IS SO SAD THE MAN JUST HAS SO MUCH LOVE IN HIS HEART. He could have kept going after accidently hitting the boy. OF course not any one would do that if they were a carring person. LOVE IS ALL GOD.
Duke May 09, 2014 at 07:33 AM
I guess I just don't understand why they are not trying to find the other people that where involved in beating this man inches from his life. Not only do they let one out on bail but no one is actively pursuing to bring the rest of them to justice. If this was a black man beaten by white men it would be an outrage and their would be public outcry to catch these guys, songs would be dedicated to family, Obama would be on tv with words something like that could've been my father. Seriously I don't understand why more is not being done! It shouldn't matter what the race is, everyone should be treated equal... Enough with the separation, we need to become a united people and stop letting the news decide things for us. If this so called man out on bail is innocent as he claims why doesn't he turn in the rest of the people who did this horrific act to another human being, why because he's guilty and he knows it! Shame on them for letting him out!!!
Bridget Van May 09, 2014 at 11:02 AM
This horrific incident sickens me. I don't think any of the suspects should have had their bail lowered. As far as medical bills are concerned, Mr. Utash should look into the court system's victim assistance program. I know some cities offer coverage of medical bills caused by a crime.


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