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.