Michigan man charged with ethnic intimidation at beach brawl

FRENCHTOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. - A white man is accused of hitting a black man in the face with a bicycle chain in what authorities allege was a racially motivated assault at a southeastern Michigan beach that sparked a brawl.

Lee James Mouat Jr., 42, of Newport, Michigan, remained jailed Monday on charges of felony assault and ethnic intimidation, the Monroe News reported.

The assault happened after two groups of people — one white, the other black — exchanged words Saturday at the Sterling State Park beach in Frenchtown Township, about 39 miles (62 kilometres) southwest of Detroit, Monroe County sheriff’s Maj. Jeff Kemp said.

Mouat went to his car and retrieved a locking device used for bicycles, Kemp said. He then went up to the victim, used a racial slur for black people and hit the man in the face with the lock. The two groups then began to fight.

Bond was set Monday at $100,000. Mouat was expected to be arraigned Tuesday. Online court records did not list an attorney for Mouat.

The victim, a Monroe man whose name was not released, was hospitalized with injuries to his face.

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