Hundreds of people held a vigil in Detroit on Thursday to call for racial harmony and for the health of a white man beaten by a black mob, with the attack continuing to exacerbate fears of racial division in the city,
Steve Utash was attacked by a mob when he accidentally struck a 10-year-old with his pick-up truck on April 2, the Associated Press reports. He is currently in critical condition and in a medically-induced coma, while the 10-year-old has been treated and is expected to make a full recovery.
The attack on the Utash was stopped by a retired nurse who lived next to the site of the accident.
Worshipers at the service in the historic Little Rock Baptist Church prayed said prayers for Utash’s health. His relatives were present.
“We have to thank God that in the midst of evil we still have good Samaritans,” the Greater Grace Temple Bishop Charles Ellis III told the crowd. “We are here to celebrate good neighbors. They come in all age groups … all ethnicities … all colors.”
He was joined by the Mayor Mike Duggan and clergy of various faiths for what was labeled “a night of healing.”
Chuck Gaidica, a pastor at a church in the Detroit suburb of Troy, was one of several clerics calling for peace.
“We are all part of the fabric that makes up this great city and our proximity to one another makes us all brothers and sisters,” he said.
Four men and one 16-year-old have been arrested for the attack. The 16-year-old faces charges of ethnic intimidation and assault, while the others face charges of intent to murder and assault.