MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Four men have been charged in an attack on a gay couple on Miami Beach.
The men, identified as Juan Lopez, Luis Alonso, Adonis Diaz and Pablo Reinaldo Romo, were placed in handcuffs and booked into Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center after turning themselves in through their attorney.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle is trying to figure out what charges they will face.
“To be unexpectedly attacked, brutally, very violent attack and then they fled, it’s shameful, it’s intolerable, it’s despicable,” said Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.
The four men turned themselves in to authorities on Tuesday.
The Hate crimes unit of the State Attorney’s Office is investigating.
“There’s a state statute that allows these kinds of aggressive behaviors, these attacks, these beatings, to be enhanced,” Rundle explained. “It moved it from a second degree felony to a first degree felony and it almost doubles the penalty.”
The men, all in their 20’s, posted bond and got out of jail Wednesday morning before ever appearing in bond court.
The attack happened Sunday around 7:30 p.m. near the restrooms at 6th Street and Ocean Drive.
Rene and Dmitry said they were attacked after leaving a Gay Pride event.
“We were coming out of the bathroom and they started hitting on us, punching us, and kicking us when we were on the floor. They had no reason to, basically killing us,” said Rene.
“They were calling us faggots,” said Dmitry. “They were Spanish speaking and they called us faggots and there was fighting and I know this was gay pride.”
Now Rene and Dmitry have the pain and bruises as constant reminders. They find little comfort in the arrest.
“I don’t feel this is, this kind of thing doesn’t make me happy,” Rene said Wednesday night. “We were happy before. We were happy before the fight and everything. I don’t know what I feel or how I feel. It’s weird, partly because I’m thinking of their families.”
Rene said he still doesn’t know what happened to provoke the four men into attacking them.
Police released surveillance video of the attack that shows the men hitting Rene and Dmitry, who attempted run away.
A man who saw Rene and Dmitry being chased tried to help. He was hit and knocked to the ground by the suspects.
“I thought I was doing the right thing. I was trying. I didn’t do enough,” said Helmut Muller. “It’s a disrespect for the whole community. We were celebrating love and equality and I guess it’s not there yet. We still need to work on it.”
Rene and Dmitry said they’ve received a lot of support, even from people they don’t even know, which they find heartening.
Dave Cook is the executive director of Miami Beach Gay Pride.
He’s stunned by the attack — not only that it happened during pride festivities, but that it was carried out in South Florida.
“It’s sad, it’s disappointing, it makes you angry,” Cook said. “This happens still to this day around this country and it shows we need to have pride, we need to support the LGBT community. There’s really still bigoted thugs out there that think its okay to do what they did.”