Miami Beach attackers – Photo: CBS Miami.
The four young men accused of attacking a gay couple following Miami Beach’s annual gay pride parade have been charged with hate crime enhancements and could face additional time in prison.
Juan Carlos Lopez, Luis Alonso Piovet, Adonis Diaz, and Pablo Reinaldo Romo-Figueroa have all been charged with aggravated battery committed with prejudice for attacking Rene Chalarca and Dmitry Logunov outside a public restroom.
Due to the hate crime enhancements, the four could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted. That’s double the number of years they would typically face under a stand-alone charge of battery, reports The Miami Herald.
According to police, and video footage recovered from a security camera, the four men began beating up the gay couple after one of the victims accidentally bumped into Lopez. They then began calling the victims “maricones,” an anti-gay slur in Spanish, police said.
During the fight, both victims sustained cuts and bruises over their body and face, and Logunov lost consciousness temporarily.
A Good Samaritan, Helmut Muller, tried to intervene and stop the group, but was also beaten up. He ended up receiving four stitches for a cut to the back of the head. He was later honored for his heroism by Miami Beach officials.
Initially, the identities of the men could not be determined from the video. But one of the attackers was wearing a shirt from Florida International University, and police asked for the public’s help in identifying the men. The four men later surrendered to police, accompanied by their lawyer.
All four have also been charged with felonies related to their beating of Muller, and an assault on another man. Their lawyer, Dennis Gonzalez, has declined to comment on behalf of his clients.
Because of the hate crime charges, the bail for the four suspects has been increased to $75,000 each, according to a tweet from Miami-Dad State Attorney Kathy Fernandez Rundle. Once released, they’ll be placed on house arrest and required to wear an ankle monitor until they go to trial.
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