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Man charged with hate crimes for attack on Black teen

February 11, 2021 GMT

MONROE, Mich. (AP) — A white man accused of attacking a Black teenager and attempting to strike another has been indicted on federal hate crime charges, eight months after an incident at a Michigan park.

Lee Mouat is accused of striking Devin Freelon Jr. with a bike lock in June. Investigators said he repeatedly yelled racial slurs and said Blacks couldn’t use the beach in Monroe.

He’s also accused of attempting to hit another teen with the lock.

Mouat’s case has moved slowly in federal court since he was initially charged in a criminal complaint in October. His attorney and prosecutors were discussing a possible plea deal to avoid an indictment, according to a Dec. 14 court filing.

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The indictment was filed Wednesday. An email seeking comment was sent to Mouat’s attorney.

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