FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - New details and a possible motive have been released about a brutal beating that left a man blind and landed a family behind bars.
Vladyslav Makarenko has been accused, along with his brother, father and mother, of beating a man so severely he was left blind. Prosecutors said, it was all because the victim is gay.
“Mr. Mararenko, you’re charged with attempted murder in the first degree. You’re being held no bond,” said a judge.
All four family members appeared before a judge. According to a family friend, each member of the family is maintaining their innocence.
It happened in August at the 31-year-old victim’s apartment in Pompano Beach.
According to the arrest documents, 19-year-old Oleh Makarenko and the victim had been romantically involved for about nine months, but the victim said Oleh told him his father was not accepting him as gay.
After a two-week break in the relationship. on Aug. 6, the victim said he remotely opened his community’s gate believing it was a friend when it was actually the Makarenko family. The victim went outside but quickly went back into his apartment.
According to the arrest report, “… the suspects began pushing the door open in an attempt to force their way inside. Moments later, the suspects succeeded in force the door open … suspects then grabbed (the victim) as he began attempting to defend himself.”
The report goes on to state, “All four suspects continued holding (the victim) and began punching, kicking and hitting all over his face, head and body.”
“While this was occurring, Oleh and his mother walked into the apartment and watched as the suspects continued to beat (the victim) … (the victim) stated to Oleh’s mother, ‘Unfortunately your son’s gay.’ And (the victim) asked Oleh, ‘Is this what you wanted?’ to which Oleh replied ‘no’ … One of them grabbed an unknown object and struck him in the face. (The Victim) stated after falling to the floor, he pretended to be dead,” said the arrest report.
“There’s no indication that anything was said or done to show that they had specific intent to kill,” said public defender Katherine Lopez. “It seems like, based on my reading, that their probable cause for beating him cause of a relationship with a family member of theirs.”
Police are calling the crime a coordinated attack.
Initially, the victim told police he fell down because he had been drinking when he was discovered by officers, who were in the apartment complex for another call but had seen the victim’s door was ajar. The victim later contacted police again and told officers the true story of the beating he had encountered. This will be possibly used against the victim with the defense team.
7News visited the family’s home in Pompano Beach. A family friend was there and reiterated that they are maintaining their innocence.
All four members of the family remain in jail without bond.
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