Monroe County man charged with hate crimes after assaulting Black teen with bike lock

A Newport man has been indicted for federal hate crimes after he assaulted a Black teenager with a bike lock last October.

Lee Mouat was charged with willfully causing bodily injury to a Black teenager and attempting to cause bodily injury to another Black teenager, through the use of a dangerous weapon, because of the teenagers’ race.

Lee Mouat has been charged with two counts of willfully causing bodily injury to an individual and attempting to hurt another teen due to the race of the victims.

Mouat had confronted a group of teenagers at a state park in Monroe County last year, repeatedly using racial slurs and claimed Black people had no right to use the public beach.

Among the group of teens at Sterling State Park that evening was Devin Freelon Jr., an 18-year-old. His family said that after Mouat got angry about loud music and called the group the n-word, he went to his car, grabbed a bicycle lock, and hit him in the face.

Freelon had three teeth knocked out, fractured his jaw, and suffered a cut on his lip. 

Prosecutors originally charged Mouat with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, felonious assault, and ethnic intimidation. However, this indictment came from the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Eastern District of Michigan because a hate crime is a federal offense.

After his initial arrest, Mouat's bond was set at $100,000. 

RELATED: Monroe teen hit in face with bike chain in alleged racially-motivated attack gets teeth replaced for free

If convicted Mouat faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for each count. 

When Freelon's story aired, a gofundme was set up to help pay for expenses. It raised more than $18,000. He also received free reconstructive surgery from a Wyandotte dentist, who put a temporary fix into his mouth so he could smile with a mouth full of teeth for his graduation.