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, authorities said.
Lee Mouat, 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 him in the jaw and knocking him to the ground.
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 Justice Department said Tuesday. 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. His attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday, according to NBC News.
An online fundraiser for Freelon, meanwhile, generated more than $18,000 in donations before a dentist offered to provide him free care to fix his teeth.
“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.