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Detroit police eye hate crime in mob attack on motorist who struck boy

Detroit police said Monday that they are working to determine if last week’s mob attack on a motorist who accidentally hit a 10-year-old boy was a hate crime, MyFoxDetroit.com reported.

"We are looking at all aspects. That's one issue, the issue of race, is being looked at," Detroit Police Chief James Craig told the station.

Steve Utash, 54, who is white, was attacked in broad daylight last Wednesday by a large group of men after he left his pickup to render aid to the boy.

"We are looking at all aspects."

- Detroit Police Chief James Craig

He is in critical condition and in a medically induced coma, the report said. His brain is swollen and he appears to recount the beating.

"He wakes up and his arms start struggling and he says, 'Help me! Help me!" said Terry Emerick, a family friend.

Emerick, whose son is married to one of Utash's daughters, said Friday that Utash's paycheck was taken during the beating and equipment was stolen from the truck. Police Sgt. Michael Woody said police cannot confirm that Utash was robbed.

Utash, a tree trimmer, has no medical insurance and his family said more than $120,000 has been raised for his medical bills.

Meanwhile, Detroit police say they have arrested two more men in connection with the attack, raising the total arrests to four. Police expect more arrests. City leaders have come out criticizing the beating and call on witnesses to come forward.

Click for more from MyFoxDetroit.com

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