Federal authorities have laid a hate crime charge against a Michigan man accused of striking a Black teen in the face with a bike lock, fracturing his jaw, and knocking out his teeth, prosecutors announced Tuesday.
Lee James Mouat, 42, faces one count of willfully causing bodily injury to the victim because of his race, according to a criminal complaint filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The exact age of the teen, identified as D.F., was not released.
On June 6, Mouat, who is white, confronted the teen and his friends, who are also Black, in a parking lot at William C. Sterling State Park in Monroe, south of Detroit, and used racial slurs as he told them that they had no right to use the public state beach, according to an affidavit filed in support of the complaint.
"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 was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for a facial fracture, lacerations, and the loss of several teeth, according to the affidavit.
Witnesses told investigators they heard Mouat repeatedly use the n-word as he complained about the group playing loud music, saying, "these niggers are playing gang music" and "I'll bash their heads in if they don't turn [their music] down," the affidavit said.
Another witness said Mouat, before striking the victim in the face, yelled, "Black lives don't matter."
Mouat was arrested in June 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.
Alec Chabalowski, an attorney who was representing him in that case, declined to comment on the federal hate crime charge when BuzzFeed News reached him by phone Tuesday. Chabalowski said his state case is still pending.
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.