published Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Motorist who struck boy critical after mob attack

Desmond Key talks about the auto accident that involved 10 year-old David Harris Thursday, April 3, 2014. Harris was hit by a car crossing Morang street on Detroit's east side, Wednesday, April 2,2 014. The driver stopped and was attacked by onlookers.
Desmond Key talks about the auto accident that involved 10 year-old David Harris Thursday, April 3, 2014. Harris was hit by a car crossing Morang street on Detroit's east side, Wednesday, April 2,2 014. The driver stopped and was attacked by onlookers.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

DETROIT — A suburban Detroit man was in critical condition Thursday with severe head injuries after a neighborhood mob beat and kicked him when he stopped to check on a 10-year-old boy who stepped from a curb into the path of his pickup.

The 54-year-old man, whose name was not released, was being treated at a Detroit hospital as police scoured the east side neighborhood where he was attacked Wednesday afternoon. The boy, David Harris, was expected to recover from his injuries, according to Desmond Key, who said he was the 10-year-old's uncle.

The driver -- who lives just north of Detroit in Macomb County's Roseville -- wasn't at fault in the accident, said Detroit police Sgt. Michael Woody.

"A preliminary investigation shows the kid stepped off the curb in front of him," Woody said. "No way he could have stopped in time."

On Thursday, marked and unmarked police cruisers crisscrossed streets around Morang and Balfour where the accident occurred about 4:10 p.m. Wednesday.

No arrests were made in the beating, but Woody said the boy's father was taken into custody Thursday on an unrelated warrant.

"At this time, he is not a suspect" in the attack, Woody said.

Key, 21, said David and some friends were walking to a store from their homes when the boy was hit by the truck. One of the youths raced back to David's home and told the family about the accident.

"I heard that he ran out in the street," Key said. "When I showed up my nephew was on the ground screaming."

Meanwhile, the driver was getting pummeled in the driveway of a nearby gas station.

"The guy definitely was trying to fight back, but it was too many guys," Key said. "When he finally had enough of trying to fight back he just fell to the ground. When he fell to the ground they kicked him a couple of times and then they left him alone."

Key counted six or seven attackers.

"We don't know those people that did that to that guy. Our main focus is on David," he said. "We weren't cheering it on. We weren't rooting for it."

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