Suspected Miami Pride attackers released, could face hate crime charge

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Miami | The four men charged with aggravated assault for attacking two gay men during Miami Pride have been released from jail and may face additional charges of a hate crime.

Miami Beach ABC affiliate 10 News reports that the four men have been identified as Juan C. Lopez, Adonis Diaz, Pablo Reinaldo Romo-Figueroa and Luis Alonso-Piovet. The suspects surrendered to Miami Beach police on April 10 and face charges of felony aggravated assault for brutally attacking Dimitri Lugonov and Rene Chalarca during the annual event.

“Police said the state attorney’s office will decide whether the men will face a ‘hate crime’ enhancement in addition to the existing charges,” the outlet notes.

Prior to their surrender, Miami Beach police released video of the incident. Be warned, as it includes graphic imagery:

Lugonov and Chalarca were attacked on April 8 around 7:40 p.m. near Ocean Drive and Sixth Street following the Miami Pride parade. Reports indicate that they were repeatedly punched in the face and fell to the ground, leaving them with multiple cuts and bruises.

Helmut Muller, an onlooker who attempted to assist the victims, was surrounded and rendered unconscious after he reportedly followed the suspects and was also attacked.

As The Miami Herald points out, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle advised via Twitter that the area’s Hate Crimes Unit will be evaluating the attack and has been working with Miami Beach police.

The Herald notes that “if the attackers are charged with a hate crime — which state statute defines as a crime committed based on prejudices including race, age and sexual orientation — they could face a more serious penalty.”

Image screenshot via the Miami Beach Police Twitter account.

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