Driver says he was beaten after accident on Detroit's east side - New York News

Driver says he was beaten after accident on Detroit's east side

Posted: Updated:
DETROIT (WJBK) - "I said are you ok? And he said, 'I'm fine.' I said, 'Did you get hurt from the car accident?' He said, 'No, they got out and they jumped me,'" says witness Irine Smith.

It's the weekend driver attack that has people saying not again.

Thirty-four-year-old Nate Szczerbinski wrecked his car near Vernor and Chalmers Saturday afternoon, but the cuts and bruises you see aren't from the accident. He says he was viciously beaten and called racial slurs by three men in the other car involved in the crash.

"I just was [appalled]. I told him, 'Just lay there for the police.' And we kind of stayed on the scene until two policeman came," Smith says. "He was beat up really bad his left eye was swollen shut. He had lacerations on his forehead, up under his chin and his speech was slurred. And I do believe his speech was slurred because, you know, they beat him all in the face. He had no body trauma that I could see, just from his head up."

Smith works as a nurse. She kept Szczerbinski still until paramedics arrived.

Police say he caused the crash, driving the wrong way down the one-way portion of Vernor after leaving Texas Bar on Detroit's east side. His usual waitress who didn't want her face shown says he's a nice guy who usually orders just one beer.

"Yeah, I am sad to hear what happened to him because [there was] no trouble out of him ever, no bad words, no arguments with anyone, no anything," the waitress says.

The proud new father didn't mention the attack to police at the scene or in the ambulance. He didn't tell police until they followed up at the hospital. Detroit police say one of the men involved in the assault is under arrest. They are looking for two more.

This attack is an eerie reminder of the Steve Utash beating back in April. The 54-year-old was beaten into a coma by a mob after stopping to help a 10-year-old boy who ran into the path of his truck.

Now, some are calling Szczerbinski's attack a hate crime but police are not jumping to conclusions. Neighbors aren't either.

"I don't think it was racially motivated; I think it was ... emotions that just got escalated," Smith says.

Police say they are investigating but they are not calling this a hate crime just yet. The prosecutor will make that determination once the investigation is complete.

FOX 2's Maurielle Lue spoke with Szczerbinski's father off camera. She reports he tells her Nate is at home tonight and will have eye surgery next week.
  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Trump Plaza closes

    Trump Plaza closes

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 7:40 AM EDT2014-09-16 11:40:37 GMT
    A fourth Atlantic City casino has gone out of business.  Trump Plaza shut its doors at 6 a.m. Tuesday.  The casino at the center of the Boardwalk and the end of the Atlantic City Expressway has been declining for years, performing worse than any of the city's other casinos.
    A fourth Atlantic City casino has gone out of business.  Trump Plaza shut its doors at 6 a.m. Tuesday.  The casino at the center of the Boardwalk and the end of the Atlantic City Expressway has been declining for years, performing worse than any of the city's other casinos.
  • Smoking rates on the rise in New York City

    Smoking rates on the rise in New York City

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 7:03 AM EDT2014-09-16 11:03:52 GMT
    For the first time in years, more than 1 million New Yorkers are smoking, marking a disturbing rise of tobacco use in the city that pioneered a number of anti-smoking initiatives that were emulated nationally.  Sixteen percent of adult New Yorkers smoked in 2013, up from 14 percent in 2010, which was the city's lowest recorded rate, according to the findings released by New York City's Department of Health.
    For the first time in years, more than 1 million New Yorkers are smoking, marking a disturbing rise of tobacco use in the city that pioneered a number of anti-smoking initiatives that were emulated nationally.  Sixteen percent of adult New Yorkers smoked in 2013, up from 14 percent in 2010, which was the city's lowest recorded rate, according to the findings released by New York City's Department of Health.
  • Enterovirus outbreak hits New York

    Enterovirus outbreak hits New York

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 6:26 AM EDT2014-09-16 10:26:36 GMT
    The New York Health Department has confirmed that a viral-based severe respiratory illness has sickened several children in the state. New York is the latest state to confirm cases of sickness caused by enterovirus EV-D68. More than a dozen children are sick, officials said. The CDC has said this unusually severe outbreak has caused serious breathing problems.
    The New York Health Department has confirmed that a viral-based severe respiratory illness has sickened several children in the state. New York is the latest state to confirm cases of sickness caused by enterovirus EV-D68. More than a dozen children are sick, officials said. The CDC has said this unusually severe outbreak has caused serious breathing problems.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices