Man Severely Beaten After Crashing Vehicle

George Hunter, Detroit News, June 9, 2014

Police are investigating the beating of a white motorist who claims three black men pummeled him while using racial epithets after he caused a traffic accident over the weekend on the city’s east side.

The incident Saturday, as described by the victim, shares some similarities to the April beating of Steve Utash, whose assault by an angry mob following an accident made national headlines two months ago.

Nathanial Szczerbinski, 34, of Grosse Pointe Park, said the incident happened near Vernor and Chalmers at about 4:15 p.m. Saturday. {snip}

“I was heading the wrong way down a one-way street, and a car came out of nowhere,” said Szczerbinski, who was interviewed by The News on Monday as he prepared to undergo surgery for an eye socket fracture sustained in the beating.

“I got out to check on what happened, and three guys (from the other vehicle) got mad and started kicking my (expletive),” Szczerbinski said. “They were hollering, ‘White (expletive)’ while they were hitting me.”

Szczerbinski said his attackers kicked, hit and spit on him, and that one of his attackers said he was angry because his fist was swollen from hitting him.

One of the alleged attackers, a 20-year-old black man, was arrested, and police are seeking the other two, Detroit Police Officer Keisha Beasley-Dorsey said.

“The victim said there were some ethnic slurs made,” Beasley-Dorsey said. “We’ll do our investigation, and it’ll be up to prosecutors whether to file ethnic intimidation charges.”

{snip}

On April 2, Utash, a 54-year-old tree-trimmer was severely beaten by a mob after he hit a 10-year-old boy who’d ran into the path of his truck. The assault left him in a coma for weeks.

Four men and a 16-year-old were charged in the case. The men are awaiting trial on assault with intent to commit murder, while the 16-year-old was charged as a juvenile with assault and ethnic intimidation.

Utash is now recovering in his Clinton Township home.

His beating prompted civic and religious leaders to hold a rally calling for racial healing in the city.

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