MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Two men who, police said, were beaten in Miami Beach hours after the city’s annual pride parade shared the terrifying moments that investigators are calling an act of hate.
Surveillance cameras captured the incident outside a public restroom near Sixth Street and Ocean Drive, Sunday, at around 7:45 p.m.
According to Miami Beach Police, three of four men seen walking together along Ocean Drive were caught on video pushing the victims as they were walking out of the restoom, then punching and pummeling them repeatedly..
Speaking with 7News Monday night, the victims, who asked to be identified by their first names only — Dmitry and Rene — said it all happened very fast.
“They start to hit us, like beating us, hard,” said Rene.
“It was, like, instant. I got hit, and they knocked me out,” said Dmitry.
“He went to the floor, like he passed out,” said Rene.
Dmitry said the attack did not stop there. “I was on the ground, they started beating me up,” he said.
It was at that moment that, Dmitry said, Rene confronted the assailants.
“I heard him screaming, and he started fighting with them, just in order to defend me,” said Dmitry.
“Then they start kicking me and punching me, without a reason,” said Rene.
Investigators said hateful language was yelled during the assault.
“The four subjects actually made a derogatory, anti-gay slur in Spanish to the victims,” said Miami Beach Police Officer Ernesto Rodriguez.
Officials said a good Samaritan not seen in the surveillance video tried to step in to help, but he was also punched and kicked by the assailants.
Rene and Dmitry sent pictures of their injuries to 7News.
Rodriguez said they hope the footage will help them located the perpetrators.
“What we’ve shared tonight is clear surveillance video of four individuals that we’re looking for, that really need to be held accountable for their actions,” he said.
Another surveillance camera captured the group walking north on Ocean Drive before they reached the restroom.
The brawl unfolded on the final day of the 10th Annual Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade and Festival.
“This is a weekend on Miami Beach where we celebrate equality,” said Rodriguez. “Something like this is completely uncalled for, completely unnecessary, and we really need to hold those responsible accountable.”
If you have any information on who these attackers are, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.
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