July 23, 2014 at 1:10 pm

Boy, 16, pleads no contest in attack of gay man in Detroit

Detroit A juvenile has pleaded no contest to a charge of assault with intent to do great bodily harm in connection to an attack on June 15 at a gay pride festival in the city.

The 16-year-old boy, who was accused of attacking Detroiter Christin Howard, 20, entered his plea Wednesday morning and will be sentenced at a 10:30 a.m. Aug. 26 disposition hearing before Judge Karen Braxton at the Lincoln Hall of Justice.

The juvenile was allegedly one of a gang of five to eight men who attacked Howard along the RiverWalk. Howard, an openly gay man, tried to defend himself during the assault, even taking one person to the ground before he was overwhelmed by the group.

He was punched and kicked while on all fours. The beating left Howard with a damaged eye, a broken finger and multiple contusions.

A video of the attack was posted on YouTube.

According to the prosecution, the juvenile shouted slurs at Howard before the attack, demeaning him for having a long curly weave.

Howard, an aspiring hair stylist who goes by the name of Chong Lee, has nearly 25,000 followers online at chongleedidit.

The teens appointed lawyer, Jeffrey Schwartz, argued the teen was just following the group.

According to the Michigan Penal Code, assault with intent to do great bodily harm is a felony punishable by imprisonment of not more than 10 years or a fine of $5,000 or both.

TGreenwood@detroitnews.com
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