Nine months after a Black teen had his teeth knocked out at a Michigan beach, the man who assaulted his face with a bike chain admitted in federal court that his actions were about hate, claiming he attacked the teen because of his race according to USA Today. 43-year-old Lee Mouat of Newport, Michigan is now facing up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty last week to willfully causing bodily injury to an 18-year-old because of the teen’s race. Mouat has entered his plea before U.S. District Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III according to the news outlet.
p class=”gnt_ar_b_p”>The incident occurred at Sterling State Park in Monroe, when Mouat confronted a group of Black teenagers, including the victim, Devin Freelon Jr., 18. According to court records, Mouat pulled out the bike chain, he told Freelon that Blacks weren’t welcome at the beach. Also that Black lives don’t matter. The plea agreement, court records show how the incident unfolded on June 6.
It was about 7:45 p.m. Freelon heard an unfamiliar man yelling a racial slur in the beach parking lot. Freelon was getting a portable speaker from a vehicle while Mouat yelled racial slurs at his two friends and then started walking toward Freelon, later pulling out a bike lock and striking him in the face with it.
According to witnesses, Mouat was outraged about the teens playing music, and was making racial comments about the teens as he walked toward the park with his family.
One witness said they heard Mouat say, “I wish someone would say something to me so I can beat them.”
A few minutes later, Mouat allegedly told the group “Black Lives Don’t Matter” before going to his van and retrieving his bike lock. A witness said they were anticipating a fight, but at one point, Mout walked away, commenting: “I’ve got something for you in my car.”
The witness assumed Mouat was leaving with his family, however, Mouat returned with the bike chain, swining it at the 18-year-old’s face knocking him to the ground.
In his plea agreement, Mouat admitted that he repeatedly hurled racial slurs at the group saying Black people had no right to use the public beach. Then he struck the teen in the face with a bike lock, knocking out several of his teeth, cutting his face and mouth, and fracturing his jaw. He also admitted attempting to strike another Black teen with the bike lock, but missing.
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