(WXYZ) - A 54-year-old man is still in critical condition with severe head injuries, after a crowd attacked him on Detroit’s East Side Wednesday.
The Clinton Township man accidentally hit an 11-year-old boy with his pickup truck, after police say the child darted out into the street.
The 7 Action News Investigators obtained security camera video of the accident that sparked the beating.
The child, David, is expected to recover from his injuries. It happened on busy Morang Rd. on Detroit’s East side.
When the 54-year-old man immediately stopped to help the child, a gathering crowd turned on him, beating him repeatedly.
“I think it lasted about one minute and then they let him go. And then they jumped back on him again and they did it about three times, and finally someone was trying to help the guy that got beat up,” said a witness who did not want to be identified.
“Hit and runs are very common epidemic in this city. This particular gentleman did stop and try to render aid, and did try to help the child, and then the unfortunate events occurred,” said Detroit Police Department Sgt. Michael Woody. Sgt. Woody said the driver did the right thing by stopping to help.
Detroit Police are pouring over security camera footage to identify the people who attacked the driver.
It happened around 4:00 Wednesday afternoon on Morang near Balfour, by a busy gas station. Detroit police officials say at least 20 people were at the scene of the beating – and between 10 and 12 people actually assaulted the 54-year-old.
“This is not conducive to how the City of Detroit generally handles things. It’s very much an anomaly; it’s very much a shock to all of us… It’s a tragic incident for multiple families. We are asking that anyone with information about this incident to please come forward.”
The boy's godfather says the family doesn’t approve of what the group did to the driver.
“We don’t condone that at all. I told his mom and she just was like, no, we wouldn’t want that to happen,” said Duston. “I did see it happening. But my main concern honestly was on David. But then I thought they had stopped. But I don’t know. My concern was on my godson at the time.”
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and City Council President Brenda Jones issued a joint statement, calling for calm and patience in the wake of the accident and assault.
"We are asking all Metro Detroiters to demonstrate our true character by exercising calm and patience during this emotionally charged time. Most important, we must all keep Mr. Utash, David Harris and their families in our prayers. We also are calling on members of our community who know the individuals involved in this brutal attack to step forward so that justice can be served and healing can begin."
Police did arrest the child’s father at the scene because of an outstanding unrelated warrant, but they have not made any other arrests yet.
If you know who’s responsible for the beating please call Detroit Police at 313-596-1616 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.