A white Michigan man has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for smashing a Black teen’s face with a bike lock, allegedly telling the boy “Black lives don’t matter,” before knocking his teeth out.
Lee Mouat, 43, pleaded guilty to assaulting and causing bodily injury to Devin Freelon Jr. because of his race in March. On Thursday, he was sentenced to five years in prison for the hate crime.
The brutal attack left the 18-year-old with a fractured jaw and broken teeth just days before his high school graduation.
The attack happened on June 6, 2020 at Sterling Park in Monroe, Michigan, where authorities said Mouat confronted a group of Black teens.
According to a plea agreement, Mouat made a comment about the group’s “ghetto” music, yelled “Black lives don’t matter,” called the teens the N-word and said Black people didn’t belong in the park.
He then retrieved a “metal chain-style bike lock” from his car, walked back towards the group and assaulted Freelon.
“Mouat then swung and struck D.F. in the face with the bike lock, knocking out three of D.F.’s teeth, lacerating D.F.’s face and mouth, and fracturing his jaw,” the plea agreement states. “Mouat also swung the bike lock at a second Black teenager, T.G., but missed. Mouat continued to wield the bike lock and walk toward T.G. while saying, ‘Come here, n—–.'”
The court document says Mouat attacked the teens “because of D.F.’s and T.G.’s race.”
Mouat later admitted to directing racial slurs towards the group and to striking the teen in the face with a bike lock. He also admitted to trying to strike another Black teen with the lock but missing.
“The defendant brutally attacked teenagers at a public beach because these young people are Black,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Hate-fueled violent crimes like this have no place in our communities. Protecting Americans from hate crimes is a top priority of the Justice Department, and we will use every tool available to bring perpetrators to justice.”
In addition to handing down a prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Stephen Murphy ordered Mouat to serve three years supervised release.