Lee Mouat charged with hate crime in beating of black teen, Devin Freelon Jr. White Michigan man repeatedly used ‘n’ word in targeted attack after taking exception to music being played at the beach.
A Michigan man accused of attacking a black teen with a bike lock and yelling ‘black lives don’t matter’ has been charged with a federal hate crime, according to reports.
Lee James Mouat Jr., 42, of Newport, allegedly attacked Devin Freelon Jr., 18, with a bike lock on June 6 at Sterling State Park in Monroe, where he confronted the teen and two friends, telling them ‘n—-s don’t belong on this beach,’ a criminal complaint obtained by NBC News shows.
Witnesses said Mouat, who is white, threatened to ‘bash the three teens’ heads if they didn’t turn their music down and called them ‘monsters’ while threatening to hit them with a cooler if one of them said something to him, according to the complaint.
Freelon and his friends then started yelling back at Mouat, prompting him to walk to his car to grab a bike lock, which he then used to assault Freelon, hitting the teen in the jaw and knocking him to the ground.
One witness said Mouat repeatedly called the group the ‘N-word,’ according to a Justice Department complaint filed Tuesday. Another witness said Mouat also called the teens ‘monsters,’ along with saying he wanted to ‘hit them with this cooler,’ along with allegedly saying, ‘I wish someone would say something to me so I can beat them.’
If convicted of federal hate crime charge, Mouat faces 10 years jail
Another witness said Mouat yelled ‘black lives don’t matter’ at the teens before walking to his minivan.
The attack knocked out several of Freelon’s teeth and fractured his jaw.
The teen was a high school senior at the time at Orchard Center High School in Monroe, WDIV reported.
Mouat is already facing state charges in the attack. He was arraigned in June on counts of ethnic intimidation, assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder and assault with a dangerous weapon, according to the station.
Mouat remained held in Monroe County Jail as of Wednesday and had not yet entered a plea to the state charges. He had yet to appear before a judge on the federal hate crime charge, NBC News reported.
If convicted on the federal charge, Mouat faces up to 10 years in prison.
‘He is doing great and if all goes well he gets a permanent set of teeth to replace the missing ones, sometime in the next few months,’ the fundraiser’s organizer announced Wednesday.