Lee Mouat: White Michigan man fractures teen's jaw with bike lock while shouting 'Black lives don't matter'
MONROE COUNTY, MICHIGAN: A Michigan man attacked an African-American teen with a bike lock, fracturing his law and knocking out several of his teeth after declaring “Black lives don’t matter,” and yelling other racial slurs.
The incident took place on June 6 in a parking lot at Sterling State Park at Lake Erie, about 37 miles south of Detroit. Lee Mouat, 42, was charged with a federal hate crime for assaulting Devin Freelon, 18, because of the teen's race, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday, October 13. According to a criminal complaint obtained by NBC News, Mouat, who was with his family, confronted a group of Black teens he didn't know, including Freelon, telling them they “don't belong on this beach." Mouat, who is White, allegedly commented on the teens’ “gang music” .
After using racial slurs, the suspect said that he would “bash their heads” if Freelon and his friends didn’t lower their music. He then screamed, “Black lives don’t matter." The group was called the “N-word" and “monsters" by Mouat. He added that he wanted to “hit them with this cooler," and said, "I wish someone would say something to me so I can beat them." “Mouat approached them, and Mouat and the young men began yelling at each other,” according to the complaint. “Mouat walked to his vehicle and retrieved a chain bike lock, returned to the group of young men and struck one of them in the jaw with the bike lock.
The Justice Department said in a news release that injuries sustained by the victim, who was a high school student at the time, included a fractured jaw and the loss of multiple teeth. An online fundraiser started for Freelon on GoFundMe generated more than $18,000 in donations before a dentist offered to fix his teeth for free.
"They stitched up his lip but we have to wait to see how his jaw heals to see if surgery is needed. During this, Devin lost 3 of his teeth. If you know Devin you know he takes pride in his smile and his looks and is a known 'pretty boy'. Insurance does not cover getting new teeth due to it being considered a cosmetic surgery. Devin is only 18 years old and as I write this 4 days away from graduating high school. This year has already taken a lot from him as a senior and as an African-American, with the tension going on in America currently, it’s a shame the hate in this world has taken another thing from him," the fundraiser read.
It added: "To give an update on Devin 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... If you’ve been following the case you know that it again got pushed back to later this month but it’s been picked up by the FBI which is good news."
Mouat 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. As of last week, Mouat remained held in Monroe County Jail and was yet to enter 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 could be looking at a maximum of 10 years in prison.