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Couple kicked and punched at Miami Beach Gay Pride for 'holding hands'

Police are treating the attack as hate crime

2018-04-10

Two men were attacked for holding hands at Miami Beach Gay Pride.

The couple, Rene Charlarca and Dmitry Logunov, were walking near a public toilet after celebrating Pride when they were confronted and attacked by four men.

Logunov was hit and knocked to the ground, before the attackers turned on Charlarca when he confronted them, but he told WSN-Ch. 7 that he didn't know why they were being targeted.

He said: "Then they start kicking me and punching me without a reason."

Miami Beach Police have released footage of the attack in an attempt to identify the men - one of which was wearing a FIU T-shirt and another carrying a red and white patterned towel over his shoulder - but so far, they have not been recognised.

 

 

While speaking to WTVJ-Ch. 6, Logunov said: "We probably provoked them because we were walking together, holding hands.

"It was gay pride, South Beach was full of gay people."

The two men managed to get away from their attackers but were pursued and were left with multiple cuts and bruises to their faces and other parts of their bodies.

Police are investigating the attack as a possible hate crime and Miami Beach Police Officer Ernesto Rodriquez said: "The four subjects actually made a derogatory, anti-gay slur in Spanish to the victims.

"This is a weekend on Miami Beach where we celebrate equality. Something like this is completely uncalled for and unnecessary and we really need to hold these people responsible, accountable."

The couple weren't the only people hurt in the attack after witness Helmut Muller stepped in to intervene when he was knocked out and hit his head on the concrete which required four stitches.

He told the Miami Herald: "I want them to be proud for who they are and to know there's people out there that care about gay people.

"It doesn't matter. I thought I was doing the right thing. I was trying, I didn't do enough."