April 5, 2014 at 6:15 pm

2 teens arrested in brutal beating of Clinton Twp. man

From left: Mandi, Joe, Steven and Felicia Utash (Family Photo)

Detroit Police confirm that they have arrested two people in the Wednesday beating of a Clinton Township tree trimmer on the city’s east side.

A 16-year-old and 17-year-old boy were taken into custody Saturday morning in connection with the beating of 54-year-old Steve Utash, said Detroit Police Department Sgt. Michael Woody.

Utash was on his way home from work when he accidentally struck 10-year-old David Harris with his truck near a gas station on Morang and McKinney . When he stepped outside to check on the boy, a group of about 12 men at the gas station approached him and began beating him.

Utash remains in a medically-induced coma while he recovers from his injuries.

The boys who were arrested are not related to each other nor to Harris.

Woody said he could not give out details of the investigation because it is ongoing, but he says there are a number of people police are still searching for.

“We’ve begun the stages of getting this thing resolved. It’s only a matter of time before we get them all into custody,” he said. “They might as well turn themselves in peacefully.”

Woody said the police have been partnering with neighborhood groups to reach out to residents and garner tips.

“This isn’t the end of it,” he said. “It’s the beginning of it all.”

Woody says anyone with tips is encouraged to call the Detroit Police Department’s Ninth Precinct detective unit at (313) 596-5940 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.

So far, more than $74,000 has been raised to benefit the family. To donate to Utash’s medical care, visit http://www.gofundme.com/81r9sk.

lrazzaq@detroitnews.com
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