A white supremacist from Michigan is facing up to a decade in prison for belting a Black teen in the face with a bike chain last June. On Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to the crime and admitted in federal court that he did it because his victim is Black.
The Detroit Free Press reports that 43-year-old Lee Mouat pleaded guilty to willfully causing bodily injury to 18-year-old Devin Freelon Jr. on June 6, at Sterling State Park in Monroe, Mich. So, what did Freelon do to provoke the neo-Nazi rage of a middle-aged white man who likely wishes America would just go back to its roots and allow the attacking of Black bodies without consequence? Well, it never takes much to provoke people like him, does it?
In this instance, Mouat’s Klan-ish rampage appears to have begun over a group of Black teens simply existing in a space he didn’t think they belonged. And that’s not me being hyperbolic either; according to court records, Mouat got upset over the teens playing loud music and he told them flat out that Black people aren’t welcome at the beach.
From Detroit Free Press:
It was about 7:45 p.m. when Freelon heard an unfamiliar man yelling a racial slur in the beach parking lot.
Freelon was retrieving a portable speaker from a vehicle while Mouat yelled racial slurs at his two friends and then started walking toward Freelon, eventually pulling out a bike lock and striking him in the face with it.
According to multiple witnesses, Mouat was upset about the teens playing music, and was making racial comments about the teens as he walked toward the park with his family.
One witness said they heard Mouat say, “I wish someone would say something to me so I can beat them.”
Several minutes later, a commotion broke out in the parking lot, where Mouat allegedly told the group “Black Lives Don’t Matter” before going to his van and retrieving his bike lock.
A witness said they were anticipating a fight, but at one point, Mouat walked away, commenting: “I’ve got something for you in my car.”
The witness assumed Mouat was leaving with his family. Instead, Mouat returned with the bike chain, swung it at the 18-year-old’s face knocking him to the ground and swung at the witness but missed.
So here we have a white man who had no problem going full American History X in the presence of his family, and a coward who felt the need to grab a weapon after basically challenging teenagers to a fight. Also, it shouldn’t be lost on anyone that, like many white people across the country, Mouat clearly had a chip on his shoulder over the Black Lives Matter movement.
Mouat—whose attack knocked out several of Freelon’s teeth, cut his face and mouth and fractured his jaw—admitted to repeatedly using racial slurs and telling the group of teens that Black people weren’t allowed on the beach. He also admitted to attempting to strike another Black teen with the bike lock.
“Mouat’s hateful and violent conduct, motivated by racial intolerance, was intended to physically harm the victim as well as create fear within the African-American community,” Timothy Waters, Detroit’s FBI chief, said in a statement. “We encourage anyone who has been the victim of or witness to such a crime to report it to the FBI.”
In addition to facing up to 10 years in prison, Mouat faces a fine of up to $250,000. His sentencing is scheduled for June 24, and let’s hope he does every year of the maximum sentence and pays every dime of the maximum fine. Bigots need to learn that their hate won’t go unpunished.