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Detroit Church Organizes Benefit Concert For Steven Utash

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Steven Utash (center) is surrounded by his children. (Credit: Family Photo/Gofundme.com)

Steven Utash (center) is surrounded by his children. (Credit: Family Photo/Gofundme.com)

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DETROIT (WWJ) - A local minister is working to raise money for the Macomb County man who was brutally beaten by a mob after accidentally hitting a young boy while driving in Detroit.

Rev. David Bullock, spokesperson for Change Agent Consortium and pastor of local church, said his parish has been raising funds for the family of Steven Utash after learning the Clinton Township man doesn’t have any medical insurance.

“The Greater St. Matthews Baptist Church raised over $1,000 for the Utash family and we did give that to the family last week,” Bullock told WWJ’s Vickie Thomas. “But of course, we understand that his hospital bed alone costs $3,000 a day. His care is like $20,000 a day and so even though folks are doing a great job, they don’t nearly have enough resources, especially when you think about recovery and rehab.”

To raise more funds, Bullock and his church are sponsoring a Benefit Concert for Victims of Violence, with donations going to the Utash family.

“On Easter Sunday, we’re going to do a benefit concert for them and have African American choirs and Caucasian choirs, so we’re going to try to deal with that racial harmony piece. WWJ’s Charlie Langton is actually going to be one of the emcees of that concert and we’re excited about raising money for Steven Utash,” Bullock said.

The benefit concert is free and open to the public, and takes place at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Bethany Baptist Church, 15122 W. Chicago in Detroit. Donations for the Utash family will be collected.

Meantime, four men ranging in age from 17 to 30 have been arraigned on attempted murder and assault charges in the attack, which left Utash clinging to life. The youngest defendant in the case, 16-year-old Courtney Robinson, was arraigned last weekend on assault and ethnic intimidation charges. Robinson is the only defendant to face a hate crime charge in the case.

Prosecutor Matthew Penney said Robinson, who is one month shy of turning 17, threw one of the first punches against Utash and that he also tested positive for marijuana.

“What actually occurred was the savage beating of an innocent man,” Penney said. “By his own admission, he was one of the first to throw punches.”

Police said the mob might have killed Utash if not for the actions of Deborah Hughes, a retired nurse who saw the accident from her window and rushed to help the boy before turning her attention to shielding Utash from his attackers.

Utash remains in critical condition, although he is now off the ventilator and able to breathe on his own. Harris was treated for a leg and other injuries.

More than $177,000 has been raised online to help pay for Utash’s medical bills. To contribute to the Utash fund, click here.

Seventeen-year-old Bruce Wimbush Jr., 19-year-old Latrez Cummings, 24-year-old James Davis and 30-year-old Wonzey Saffold are being held in the county jail on $500,000 bonds, while Robinson is being held at the Wayne County Juvenile Detention Center on a $400,000 bond. All five are due back in court on April 21.

 

 

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