DETROIT (WWJ) – One of the young men charged in the mob beating of Steven Utash has been released from jail on a reduced bond.
Latrez Cummings, 19, must wear a GPS tether as part of the deal that slashed his $500,000 bond down to $25,000.
Utash, 54, was driving home from his job as a tree-trimmer when he was attacked by as many as 12 people after stopping to check on a 10-year-old boy he’d struck with his pickup truck.
A witness told WWJ dozens of people stood around and watched as Utash was punched, kicked, and stomped on repeatedly
Deborah Hughes, a retired nurse credited with putting a stop the April 2 incident, said she’s disappointed by the news.
“I’m very upset about that,” she told WWJ’s Kathryn Larson, “because I figure if they keep the others they should keep him too. But that’s the way the law is in Detroit, so I’m not really surprised that it happened.”
Hughes does not, however, feel intimidated by Cummings’ presence back in her east side community.
“I’m not afraid or anything. Nobody has threatened me or said anything to me,” she said.
Hughes said she is upset more by the fact that Utash’s children won’t return her phone calls. She said, as she prays for his recovery, it pains her to not be able to give the man she rescued a hug.
“I was hearing on the news that he was getting better and things was going good for him, and so that made me feel good; and I knew that soon that I would be able to see him,” Hughes said. “So, now not to be able to see him, it hurts a lot.”
Utash was transferred last week from St. John Hospital to the 84-bed Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, where he will continue to recover from severe head injuries.
Along with Cummings, 17-year-old Bruce Wimbush Jr., 24-year-old James Davis and 30-year-old Wonzey Saffold – are all charged with assault with intent to murder in the case.
A 16-year-old boy accused of throwing the first punch in the brutal beating is being held on a $400,000 bond, charged with assault and ethnic intimidation. He is the only defendant currently facing hate crime charges; Utash is white, his alleged attackers are black.
A trial for the youngest teen is set to begin June 23. Trials for the three older suspects are scheduled for August.
[Catch up on this story HERE]