A Michigan man has been sentenced to five years in prison for beating a Black teenager with a a bike chain in an incident at Sterling State Park on Lake Eerie, prosecutors announced Thursday.
Lee Mouat pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime in March for the incident that occurred last year.
He was indicted in February on two charges— willfully causing bodily injury to a Black teenager and attempting to cause bodily injury to another Black teenager because of their race. The second charge was dropped as part of the plea agreement.
According to a criminal complaint from October, the incident began when Mouat was loudly complaining about loud music the group was playing, and yelling racial slurs.
Mouat yelled “N------ don’t belong on this beach” at the group, and “Black lives don’t matter.” The group then began yelling back at Mouat, causing an argument.
One witness said in the argument “We’ll kick your a—-“ to which Mouat responded “there are three of you, that is not fair,” the complaint states.
The witness then said “I’ll kick your a—- alone,” after which Mouat went to his car and commented “I’ve got something for you in my car.”
Mouat came back from his car with the bike chain, and swung it at the victim. He also swung it at the witness he argued with, but missed. Police arrived at the scene, and stopped the encounter.
In his plea, the Michigan man admitted to confronting a group of Black teenagers at a state park, repeatedly using racial slurs toward them and saying that Back people had no right to use the beach where the incident took place.
He also admitted to striking one of the teenager with a bike lock, which knocked out several of the victim's teeth, lacerated his face and mouth, and fractured his jaw. He also attempted to strike another teenager in the group with the bike lock.