MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Four men accused of attacking a gay couple on South Beach are now being charged with a hate crime.
The group has been charged with aggravated battery committed with prejudice. This could result in each of the men serving up to 30 years in prison if they are convicted.
The four men – who police identified as 20-year-old Luis Alonso, 21-year-old Adonis Diaz, 21-year-old Juan C. Lopez and 21-year-old Pablo Reinaldo Romo – were already facing aggravated battery felony charges for the April 8 assault. They now face stiffer penalties after prosecutors on Thursday charged them under Florida’s hate-crime enhancement law.
Surveillance cameras outside a Miami Beach bathroom, located near the beach along Ocean Drive and Sixth Street, recorded the attack, as the four men could be seen repeatedly punching Rene Chalarca and Dmitry Logunov. Investigators said the subjects yelled an anti-gay slur in Spanish before the brawl ensued.
This all happened after the Miami Beach Gay Pride festival in April.
The couple spoke with 7News shortly after the attack.
“There were thousands of gay guys on the street,” Logunov said. “It was full of people. Why they targeted us?”
Logunov said he was thankful to a good Samaritan who gave them aid.
“I got knocked out. [Chalarca] was the one fighting against all of them,” Logunov said. “We had another hero who jumped in to fight to help us.”
The four suspects turned themselves in for the attack on April 10.
Chalarca and Logunov told 7News they were not sure if they could face the men in court.
“I don’t want to look at the faces of hate,” Logunov said.
“For me, it’s going to be hard,” Chalarca said, “but, that’s life.”
The couple stayed strong and watched as the men accused of the attack faced a judge, Thursday.
The four men are due back in court on Friday.
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