DETROIT (NewsNation Now) — A white man was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison for attacking a Black teenager with a bike lock at a southeastern Michigan park because of his race.
A Detroit federal court judge also ordered 43-year-old Lee Mouat, of Newport, to serve three years of supervised release.
Mouat pleaded guilty in March to a federal hate crime after he was accused of striking Devin Freelon Jr. with a bike lock on June 6, 2020. Freelon was 18 at the time.
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.
According to his plea agreement, Mouat knocked out several of Freelon’s teeth, lacerated his face and mouth, and fractured his jaw. He also tried to hit another Black teenager with the lock.
He repeatedly used racial slurs and said Black people had no right to use the beach, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
“Hate-fueled incidents like this one have no place in a civilized society,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pamela Karlan, with the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department is committed to using all the tools in our law enforcement arsenal to prosecute violent acts motivated by hate.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.