Man charged in Walker road rage fight that injured woman

Kent County

WALKER, Mich. (WOOD) — A man has been charged with seriously injuring a woman in an apparent road rage incident in Walker.

Eric Anthony Alvarez, 24, was arraigned Friday on charges of assault with intent to inflict great bodily harm less than murder and failure to stop at the scene of a personal injury accident, Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker confirmed to News 8 Monday.

The assault happened Thursday evening outside the Starbucks on Alpine Avenue north of I-96. Police say there was some sort of road rage incident and a fight.

samantha sutherlin
An undated courtesy photo of Samantha Sutherlin.

The victim, identified by her sister as 23-year-old Samantha Sutherlin, was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.

Her sister, Nicole Holtrop, told News 8 on Monday that Sutherlin sustained a traumatic brain injury but that she did appear to be making progress.

samantha sutherlin
This courtesy photo provided by family members shows Sutherlin in the hospital.

“Samantha is healing one day at a time. TBI patients can have a good day one day but the next not so good. She is starting to respond to nurses by moving arms and sticking her tongue out. It’s the little things like that that give us hope. As a family we are staying strong for Samantha. We know she will fight so hard to get through this,” Holtrop said in a statement. “We are sickened by this random act of violence and by the person who did it. We will be fighting to make sure he stays behind bars. What a sick sick person.”

A GoFundMe account has been created to help cover Sutherlin’s medical bills and support her two children.

Kent County jail records show Alvarez is being held on a $500,000 bond. He’s expected back in court Feb. 25 for a hearing, Becker said.

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