A gay Miami-Dade man, 26, was attacked and beaten just after 12:30 a.m. Saturday outside a Collins Avenue pizza shop, Miami Beach police say.
“I have a cheekbone broken,” Luis Carlos Herrera Quiroz told WSVN Channel 7 news in a translated English-language TV interview. “All this because of a homophobic attack.”
Herrera said he and two female friends had just left a birthday party and were walking west on Ninth Street near Collins Avenue when he accidentally brushed up against another man on a crowded street.
Yanira Daniela Bustos Jaure, one of the women walking with Herrera, told police he got a bloody nose after the man he brushed against suddenly punched him in the head.
Bustos, 26, said she got between the two men to protect Herrera, but that a woman with the assailant “grabbed her by the hair and knocked her to the ground,” according to a police report.
Neighborhood surveillance video captured much of the early morning assault.
Paramedics took Herrera to Mount Sinai Medical Center. From the hospital, he told WSVN he was “repeatedly punched until the attacker just walked away.”
The assailant and woman who grabbed Bustos left the scene, along with two other men and a second woman.
Two Miami Beach police officers initially responded to the Herrera case, but crime scene detectives did not — they were busy investigating a nearby assault in which one woman shot another, according to a police report.
Detectives are currently investigating the Herrera case as a “simple battery” and have not released any new information since the initial report — including a possible motive for such a severe beating.
Herrera, however, told WSVN:
“They were homophobic and I remember I told them to stop bothering me and teasing me. Then a person came over to me and hit me in the face. After that, I don’t remember anything. My nose is broken and my face is fractured.”
Framegrab via WSVN Channel 7 news.
Journalist Steve Rothaus covered LGBTQ issues for 22 years at the Miami Herald. @SteveRothaus on Twitter.