A Michigan man faces up to 10 years in prison after he admitted in federal court he smashed an 18-year-old teenager in the face with a bike chain solely because the teen was Black.
The brutally transparent court appearance came nine months after the hate-fueled incident occurred, on June 6, 2020.
According to court records reviewed by USA Today, on that day 43-year-old Lee Mouat, of Newport, Michigan arrived at Sterling State Park beach with his family and immediately grew upset when he observed the teens nearby, playing what he called "ghetto music."
Before he approached the group of teens, Mouat was heard uttering multiple racial slurs, witnesses confirmed.
One witness conveyed Mouat appeared to be hoping for violence:
"I wish someone would say something to me so I can beat them."
Later on, Mouat did approach the teens and, amidst plenty of commotion, told them Black people weren't welcome at the beach and "Black lives don't matter."
Moments later, Mouat went into his van, retrieved his "metal chain-style bike lock," and approached the teens once again. He swung the lock and struck one of them, an 18-year-old boy, directly in the face.
According to the court records, Mouat inflicted some serious damage on the 18-year-old victim, who was referred to as "D.F." in the records.
"Mouat then swung and struck D.F. in the face with the bike lock, knocking out three of D.F.'s teeth, lacerating D.F.'s face and mouth, and fracturing his jaw."
Mouat didn't stop there, however.
"Mouat also swung the bike lock at a second Black teenager, T.G., but missed. Mouat continued to wield the bike lock and walk toward T.G. while saying, 'Come here, [n-word].' "
Mouat was charged in February with willfully causing bodily injury to the victim because of the victim's race and attempting to cause bodily injury to the second teen.
At the recent court appearance, Mouat plead guilty to the first charge, NBC News reported. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Click On Detroitcaught up with the victim and his father, Devin Freelon Sr.
Freelon Sr. couldn't believe someone would do what Mouat did, an action that has forced his son to endure multiple dental surgeries.
"It's definitely been hard seeing your son every day with missing teeth and only 19 years old. Nobody should go through that."
"They're kids, you're a grown man. You didn't have to swing a lock and hit my son in the face. You could've killed him. So, my question to him would be why?"
"In this day and age, you would think that people would be a little bit more kind and more loving toward one another. We see that's not the case."
The victim himself stated he's still waiting to see how it all unfolds.
"I'm glad he took initiative to plead guilty. The justice part comes when we see exactly how much time he's gonna do."
Some high-ranking officials made a point to speak about the incident as well.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pamela Karlan denounced Mouat's actions.
"Hate-fueled incidents like this one have no place in a civilized society."
"The Justice Department is committed to using all the tools in our law enforcement arsenal to prosecute violent acts motivated by hate."
Saima Mohsin, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, spoke out as well.
"Our office is committed to protecting the rights of all citizens, and prosecuting hate crimes is a top priority."
"The young victim in this case suffered tremendously from this vicious, racially motivated assault. Every individual citizen has the right to not live in fear of violence or attack based on the color of their skin."
People who heard about the incident on social media were absolutely appalled.
Steffany Rodriguez Neely/Facebook
As the victim said, only time will tell if true justice comes to the perpetrator.