A Michigan man is behind bars after police say he assaulted a teen at Sterling State Park over the weekend.
Detroit Free Press reports that Lee James Mouat Jr., 42, is facing charges of ethnic intimidation, assault with intent to do great bodily harm, and felonious assault. According to police, Mouat attacked an 18-year-old, identified by family as Devin Freelon, Jr., at around 7:30 p.m., at the beach area of the park.
Mouat is accused of hitting Freelon with a bike chain, following a dispute. Maj. Jeff Kemp of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said the incident started when two groups of people near the beach got into a verbal argument. One group was white while the other group was black, according to Kemp.
The suspect was allegedly upset that the other group was playing rap music from their car in a parking. He approached the group and demanded them to turn their music down, Fox 2 reports. One of the victim’s cousins said that Mouat appeared to be drunk.
The suspect then allegedly walked to his car and grabbed the bike chain lock, returned to the scene and hit the teen in the face, and called him the “N” word. The attack left Freelon with three knocked-out teeth and a cut lip.
Around eight witnesses who observed the altercation gave statements to deputies who arrived at the scene. Some witnesses refused to cooperate, according to Kemp. The victim cooperated, he added.
Mouat remains behind bars on a $100,000 bond.
Meanwhile, the victim’s family set up a GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses.
“They stitched up his lip but we have to wait to see how his jaw heals to see if surgery is needed,” the page read. “Insurance does not cover getting new teeth due to it being considered a cosmetic surgery. Devin is only 18 years old and as I write this 4 days away from graduating high school.”
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[Feature Photo: Lee James Mouat Jr./Handout; Devin Freelon, Jr./GoFundMe]