MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - The weekend got off to violent start in South Beach after fists flew on a busy street, sending a man to the hospital after an attack that the victim says happened because of his sexual orientation.
Speaking through a translator from his hospital bed on Saturday, 26-year-old Luis Carlos Herrera said he was beaten and nearly knocked unconscious, all because he’s gay.
“I have a cheekbone broken, all this because of a homophobic attack,” he said.
The victim said he and some friends were leaving a birthday celebration near Ninth Street and Collins on Friday night when he brushed up against a man standing in a group.
Herrera said things became violent.
“They were homophobic, and I remember I told them to stop bothering me and teasing me,” he said. “Then a person came over to me and kicked me in the face, and after that, I don’t remember anything.”
Surveillance video showed the victims’ friends trying to help, but there wasn’t much they could do.
Herrera said he was knocked to the ground and repeatedly punched until the attacker just walked away, leaving him with severe injuries.
“My nose is broken, and my face is fractured, and now I’m waiting to see if they will operate on me,” he said.
Early Saturday morning, hours after the attack, Miami Beach Police and Fire Rescue units responded to the scene of a shooting near 15th Street and Collins.
First responders arrived to find a woman who was shot near her stomach.
Police said the 24-year-old got into a fight with another woman, and at some point, the suspect took a gun out of her purse and opened fire.
Paramedics transported the victim to Ryder Trauma Center in stable condition.
Saturday afternoon, police confirmed they had arrested the suspected shooter. She was identified as 26-year-old Ladijah Hollingsworth.
As for Herrera, he hopes the security footage video will help catch the man who has caused him so much pain.
“I would like justice and these guys arrested,” he said. “They should not be out and about, because they are a danger to society, because what happened to me could happen to another person.”
Herrera said he still has dizzy spells and does not know how much longer he will have to remain in the hospital.
If you have any information on Friday night’s attack or the subjects’ whereabouts, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000.
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