A Michigan man has been charged with a hate crime after being accused of violently attacking a Black teen while yelling racial slurs.
According to a criminal complaint filed in the US District Court for Eastern District Michigan, federal authorities have charged 42-year-old Lee James Mouat with one count of willfully causing bodily injury to a victim because of his race.
The attack occurred on June 6 when Mouat, who is white, confronted the teen and his friends, who are Black, in a parking lot of William C. Sterling State Park in Detroit. According to the affidavit filed in support of the claim, Mouat approached the teens shouting racial slurs and told them they had no right to use the public state beach.
“Niggers don’t belong on this beach,” Mouat yelled, according to the victim, before “walking quickly towards him” and striking him in the face with a “chain bike-lock,” the documents said.
The teen, who’s exact age was not released, was taken to the hospital where he was treated for a fractured jaw, lacerations to his face, and the loss of several teeth.
Witnesses at the scene told investigators they heard Mouat repeatedly call the teens “niggers” as he complained about them playing their music to loud. According to the affidavit, witnesses say they heard Mouat say, “these niggers are playing gang music” and “I’ll bash their heads in if they don’t turn [their music] down.”
One witness said he heard Mouat yell, “Black lives don’t matter” before striking the teen in the face.
Mouat was arrested and charged in state court with assault with intent to do great bodily harm, felonious assault, and ethnic intimidation in connection with the attack, according to Monroe News.
If convicted of the hate crime charge, Mouat faces a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, according to federal prosecutors.
Sgt. Chad Cupp of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office told BuzzFeed News that Mouat was still in custody at the county jail on Tuesday and was being held on a $100,000 bond.