Man charged with hate crime in park attack on Black teen

MONROE, Mich. (AP) — A white man facing assault charges in an attack on a Black Michigan teenager was charged Tuesday with a federal hate crime.

“The allegations in this case, which essentially amount to violent and blatant racism, are deeply offensive to the values we hold in Michigan,” U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said.

Lee Mouat, 42, is accused of striking 18-year-old Devin Freelon Jr. with a bike lock on June 6 at a state park in Monroe. Investigators said he repeatedly yelled racial slurs and said Blacks couldn’t use the beach.

A message seeking comment was left with Mouat’s attorney.

Freelon lost at least three teeth and suffered other injuries. Dr. Nawras Najor provided free dental work to fix Freelon’s smile just before graduation at Orchard Center High School.

Separately, Mouat is facing assault charges in Monroe County Circuit Court. The case is pending.