Steve Utash was assaulted and nearly beaten to death by a group of at least five thugs in Detroit, Michigan.
Utash had struck a 10-year-old child with his vehicle when the boy ran out in front of him. He got out to check on the child’s health when he was assailed by a group of mostly teenagers.
Hopes were not high after his family took to GoFundMe to help pay for his skyrocketing medical bills. (Thus far, they’ve raised more than $186,000.)
But now, after six weeks in hospitals, the tree trimmer appears to be heading towards a happier ending than anyone could have suspected at the time of the assault.
On Thursday, Utash was discharged from DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, according to spokeswoman Cheryl Angelelli (first reported by the Associated Press).
Joe Utash, the victim’s son, said his father “is grateful for the public’s support, especially nearly $200,000 in pledges for his medical bills.”
When The Inquisitr reported on this story last month, the family was not so hopeful. At that time, Max Mohr, Utash’s brother-in-law, said he’d “taken a bad turn.”
“We thought he was coming back out of it, but he’s not,” Mohr said. “He ain’t the Steve I know. The family … they’re messed up. Steve’s out of it; he wakes up and thinks he’s a train conductor. He thinks he hit the kid with an airplane. He’s awake but he’s not understanding what’s going on.”
Steve did not have medical insurance, so the family hit the crowd-funding platform to raise $50k. They’ve nearly quadrupled that number, but after six weeks in hospitals, it’s unlikely Utash will be walking away with zero debt.
Meanwhile, his attackers were charged in a “raucous” hearing that found them and their family members in attendance laughing and jeering at descriptions of the attack and Utash’s subsequent condition. The Utash family found the assailants’ behavior — and the behavior of their family and friends — “disgusting.” A judge agreed.
Four of the alleged perpetrators — Latrez Cummings, 19; Wonzey Saffold, 30; James Davis, 24; and Bruce Wimbush, 17 — will stand trial for attempted murder, while one — an unnamed 16-year-old — will be charged in Wayne County Juvenile Court with “assault and ethnic intimidation related to the case,” The Inquisitr reported.
(The five attackers were African-Americans. Steve Utash is white.)
The 10-year-old boy, whom Utash hit, survived with a broken foot, while Utash himself only survived because of eyewitness Deborah Hughes, who threw herself into the melee and got the attackers to back down.