MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – A second man claims he was targeted out of hate, called names and then physically attacked in Miami Beach.
“He tells me, ‘Hey [slur], I’m not done with you yet.’ When I turned around, he throws his drink in my face,” he said.
The situation escalated, with his father in the car watching helplessly.
“I told him ‘don’t get out,’” he said.
The man, who didn’t want to have his name public, was convinced by Miami Beach Police to file a report after he was attacked at the Burger King on Washington Avenue on Sunday afternoon.
He said a group of people used gay slurs as he tried to get away, but they followed him out to the street.
His attack was the second one reported in three days.
On Monday, Ken Wilcox told CBS4 he was attacked from behind while walking his dog near Flamingo Park. He said he was beaten and left on the sidewalk for hours.
Police are still searching for witnesses and suspects.
The crimes, have illustrated the importance of a new program in Miami Beach called ‘Safe Place.’ This sticker on a few businesses and government buildings on the beach signal that if you are in trouble and need help, we’re a safe place.
The problem is participation.
Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Grieco says putting a sticker on your business is simply a way to let the LGBTQ community know you’ll help in case of an emergency.
“It won’t work without the participation of the private sector and we need folks to go out there, be part of the GPS mapping, put a sticker in the window send a message, send a message to the folks in the LGBTQ community that they are safe in your business,” said Grieco. “It can’t just be bars and restaurants. We need it to be jewelry stores and drugstores, anywhere where someone can go in, because we need as many participants as possible.”
According to Miami Beach, hate crimes are on decline. In first five months of 2017, nine have been reported – expected to be down from 2016 when there were a total of 14.
To encourage victims to come forward, Miami Beach police have a phone number victims can call to leave a voicemail. The number is (305) 604-2110.
For information on the safe place initiative, click here.