Michigan man sentenced to 5 years in prison for ‘vicious, racially motivated assault’ with bike lock

Jul 9, 2021 at 10:29 am
Lee Mouat, 43, of Newport. - U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Department of Justice
Lee Mouat, 43, of Newport.

A Michigan man who knocked out the teeth of a Black teenager with a bicycle chain lock in what prosecutors called a “vicious, racially motivated assault” was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison.

Lee Mouat, 43, of Newport, pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime in March and admitted he confronted a group of Black teenagers at a state park in Monroe and repeatedly used racial slurs, telling them they could not use the beach. Mouat then struck one of the teens in the face with a bike lock, knocking out several of his teeth, lacerating his face and mouth, and fracturing his jaw.

Mouat also tried to attack another Black teenager with the bike lock. Witnesses said Mouat repeatedly used the N-word and said “Black lives don’t matter.”

“The defendant brutally attacked teenagers at a public beach because these young people are Black,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said in a statement. “Hate-fueled violent crimes like this have no place in our communities. Protecting Americans from hate crimes is a top priority of the Justice Department and we will use every tool available to bring perpetrators to justice.”

Mouat had faced up to 10 years in prison.

The FBI investigated the attack.

“Combating hate crimes and protecting individual's civil rights is one of the top priorities of the FBI,” said Special Agent in Charge Timothy Waters of the FBI Detroit Field Office. “The outcome of this case sends a clear message to our community that law enforcement at every level will investigate crimes motivated by hate and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Calling the attack “cowardly and unprovoked," Acting U.S. Attorney Saima Mohsin for the Eastern District of Michigan said, “Every individual citizen has the right to not live in fear of violence or attack based on the color of their skin.”

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