Metro Weekly

Florida man sentenced to two years in prison for assaulting gay couple

Quenton Moss plead guilty to hate crime charges after admitting to the Miami Beach assault.

Quenton Moss – Photo: WSVN.

A Florida man has been sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to hate crime charges for beating up two gay men who walking their dog in downtown Miami.

Quenton Moss was initially charged with battery for an incident on May 18 in which he began yelling homophobic slurs at a gay couple, Dan and Gary Hardin-Peach after seeing them in a local park.

The couple claim Moss repeatedly hit them in the head and face as they tried to de-escalate the situation, Throughout the attack, Moss continued yelling anti-gay epithets.

Police responded quickly to the scene, at which point police body cameras captured him confessing to the crime.

“Yeah, I hit him in his face,” Moss says in the video. “He’s a faggot! Him and his boyfriend are fucking faggots, bro!”

The camera also captured an arresting officer telling Moss, “You just said that you assaulted them, you punched them.”

“I split them good, huh?” Moss replies.

“I don’t know. I didn’t see him,” the officer says in the video.

Moss responds: “I split him good. He’s a faggot. Faggots should die, die.”

Dan Hardin-Peach was shocked to see the body camera footage of Moss’s rant against them.

“I’m not the gay man that’s gonna let it go,” he told ABC affiliate WSVN. “How would you feel if someone did this to someone you love?”

See also: FBI report shows that the number of anti-LGBTQ hate crimes rose in 2018

On Wednesday, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle announced that her officer had partnered with researchers from Florida International University to conduct a research project into preventing hate crimes in South Florida. With the help of funding from the National Institute of Justice, the researchers interviewed 400 people over age 18, Latinos, and LGBTQ people who had been victims of hate crimes in the past five years.

According to Agencia EFE, 30% of those interviewed reported experiencing physical or sexual assault. Yet only 60, or 15%, of the 400 hate crimes victims said they reported the incident to police. Of those, 35% led to an arrest and 23% to a trial, although alleged perpetrators did not necessarily face hate crime charges.

Thirty-five percent of victims said they tried to act “more heterosexual” following the attacks, while 13% said they stopped frequenting LGBTQ meetings and spaces, and 23% decided to move.

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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