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White man gets 5 years in prison for attack on Black teen at Michigan park

Lee Mouat said he beat Devin Freelon Jr. with a metal bike lock because of his race, according to court records.
/ Source: Associated Press

DETROIT — A white man has been sentenced to five years in prison for attacking a Black teenager with a bike lock because of his race at a southeastern Michigan park.

A judge in U.S. District Court in Detroit on Thursday also ordered Lee Mouat, 43, of Newport, to serve three years of supervised release. He pleaded guilty in March to a federal hate crime in the June 6, 2020, attack on 18-year-old Devin Freelon Jr.

Lee James Mouat.Monroe County Sheriff's Office

Authorities have said Mouat confronted a group of Black teens at Sterling State Park beach in Monroe County’s Frenchtown Township, about 39 miles southwest of Detroit.

He 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 did not belong at the park, according to a plea agreement.

He then walked to his vehicle and retrieved a "metal chain-style bike lock" and walked back toward the group.

"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."

Freelon lost several teeth and suffered a fractured jaw as well as cuts to his face and mouth.

Devin Freelon Jr. with his father, Devin Freelon Sr.Courtesy Devin Freelon Sr. / via ClickOnDetroit

“The cowardly and unprovoked attack on this young victim is terribly disturbing,” Acting U.S. Attorney Saima Mohsin said in a statement. “Every individual citizen has the right to not live in fear of violence or attack based on the color of their skin.”

Mouat had faced up to 10 years in prison.