Victims of Gay Bashing Recovering; Grateful for Public’s Support

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It was Rene Chalarca’s first Pride festival.

He attended with his boyfriend of 5 months Dmitry Logunov. But what started with a parade ended with a gay bashing.

“We were walking and holding hands and needed to use the bathroom,” Logunov, 32, explained. So the two of them stopped at a public restroom as they headed home for the evening.

As Logunov walked out of the building he was called a “faggot” in Spanish, punched, and then beaten unconscious. Chalarca intervened, but three more men jumped in and began to attack him as well.

Days later they’re slowly recovering from their injuries but Chalarca will need surgery on his eye. Both also suffered multiple abrasions and bruises to the face and head.

According to the arrest report, video footage of the attack is consistent with what Chalarca and Logunov told police.

“We are beyond grateful to all of social media and people who were not indifferent to our problem and helping us to go through this nightmare,” Logunov said.

A third person who attempted to assist Chalarca and Logunov was also attacked during the altercation and injured.

The suspects surrendered to the Miami Beach Police Department through an attorney on Tuesday. They are Juan C. Lopez, 21; Luis M. Alonso, 20; Adonis Diaz, 21; and Parblo Romo-Figuero, 21. All four were charged with three counts of aggravated battery.

Prosecutors will consider upgrading their charges to a hate crime. State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle wrote on Twitter: “I can assure you & our community that my Hate Crimes Unit is evaluating this incident thoroughly. The interviews of victims & witnesses must be done as we need the evidence required under Florida law to classify these offenses they have been arrested for as hate crimes.”

Miami Beach City Commissioner Michael Gongora added:”The Miami Beach Police have recommended that the defendants be charged as a hate crime. At this point it is in the hands of the State Attorney. I’m glad that the defendants surrendered promptly.”   

Read SFGN’s original story here.


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