April 11, 2018 at 12:40 pm PST | by Mariah Cooper
Suspects in Miami pride gay bashing face possible hate crime charges

(Screenshot via Twitter)

Four men could be facing hate crime charges after brutally attacking a gay couple after Miami Beach’s Gay Pride parade.

Rene Chalarka, 32, and Dimitry Lugunov, 31, were holding hands as they left a public restroom in Lummus Park on Sunday evening following Miami Beach’s Gay Pride Parade. Four men identified as Luis M. Alonso, 20, Juan C. Lopez, 21, Adonis Diaz, 21, and Pablo Reinaldo Romo, 21, approached the couple and called them an anti-gay slur in Spanish. The four men proceeded to physically attack the couple.

The Miami Herald reports a good Samaritan, identified as Helmut Muller Estrada, attempted to intervene but was also attacked. Chalarka, Lugunov and Estrada were all hospitalized.

The four men surrendered to the Miami Beach Police Department through an attorney on Tuesday.

They face multiple counts of aggravated battery but their charges could be enhanced if the state attorney’s office deems the attack a hate crime.

Chalarca and Lugunov believe they were targeted for being gay.

“For me, the way we were dressed and everything and we were together, it was like, ‘Yes, it was a hate crime,’” Chalarca told NBC6.

“We probably provoked them because we were walking together, holding hands. It was gay pride, South Beach was full of gay people,” Lugunov agreed.

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