The four men who attacked a gay couple after Miami Beach Pride on April 7 have now been charged with a hate crime.
“The four defendants arrested for assaulting two gay individuals during the Gay Pride Parade on South Beach last month were charged today with hate-crime related felony offenses. I commend the investigative work of the @MiamiBeachPD & my Hate Crimes Unit prosecutors in this case,” State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle wrote on Twitter. “Due to my office filing hate-crime related enhanced felony offenses against the 4 defendants charged in the SoBe assault during Gay Pride Parade, my prosecutor's Motion for Increased Bond granted today. Defendants taken into custody & new bond of 75K w/GPS house arrest set on all.”
The two victims, Rene Chalarca and Dmitry Logunov were called faggots in Spanish as they were leaving a public restroom and then attacked. Both suffered cuts and bruises and Chalarca suffered an eye injury.
“We definitely feel some relief that they finally took some action and we may feel much safer,” Logunov, 32, said. “As part of our emotional rehabilitation we were advised to visit public places, but we go only to gay events…regular bars and restaurants still make me anxious. Life is getting back to normal and we are becoming happy like we were. Hopefully it won’t take much time to recover completely.”
The attack was caught on camera and the suspects later surrendered themselves to the Miami Beach Police Department through an attorney. They are Juan C. Lopez, 21; Luis M. Alonso Piovet, 20; Adonis Diaz, 21; and Parblo Reinaldo Romo-Figuero, 21. All four were charged with three counts of aggravated battery.
“I am pleased that the State Attorney Office has filed hate-crime related enhanced felony charges against these four attackers,” said Miami Beach City Commissioner Michael Gongora. “Our community must stand up against hate and attacks against any individual based upon them being a member of our LGBT community will not be tolerated. Justice will be served.”
A third person, Helmut Estrada, attempted to assist Chalarca and Logunov and was also attacked during the altercation and injured.
Recently Estrada was given an award from the City Commission for his bravery.
“He saw two individuals being attacked and was compelled to intervene. Helmut’s efforts helped stop the attack but not before he himself was injured requiring a visit to the hospital and staples in his scalp,” Gongora said. “The City of Miami Beach Medallion is a special honor usually reserved for acts of bravery, heroism and other significant contributions to our city. Helmut’s selfless act of defense warrants this honor and his stepping up and doing the right thing is even more special since he is straight and helped defend two gay victims from an attack related to their sexuality.”