MIAMI BEACH: Hate Crime Suspects Surrender To Police

The Miami Herald reports:

Four men turned themselves in to Miami Beach police on Tuesday afternoon in the case of a gay couple brutally attacked after the city’s gay pride parade. The men surrendered through an attorney and will likely face felony charges, the Miami Beach Police Department said in a statement.

The attack occurred Sunday evening around 7:40 p.m. as two gay men left a bathroom area near Ocean Drive and Sixth Street holding hands. The couple was immediately attacked by four young men, one of whom shouted a Spanish slur used to refer to LGBT men before he and the other attackers began to throw punches.

When the two victims tried to run away, they were chased by the four attackers. An onlooker, identified as Helmut Muller, tried to intervene, but was knocked out by one of the attackers. Muller later said the two victims had been badly injured, with multiple bruises and cuts.

Miami’s ABC affiliate reports:

Miami Beach police said each suspect faces felony charges. They were identified as Juan C. Lopez, Adonis Diaz, Pablo Reinaldo Romo, all 21, and Luis M. Alonso, 20. The arrests came after Miami Beach officials met with LGBT leaders Tuesday about the attack.

One of the men was wearing a Florida International University T-shirt, leading the university to release a statement about the attack. “FIU stands for tolerance, diversity and inclusion,” the statement read. “The alleged actions of these individuals do not represent FIU values.”

The South Florida Gay News reports:

Once the police arrived both men urged the officers to go after their assailants, whom they could still see in the distance, but were told: “We won’t chase them, they are far.”  But then it got worse. At one point a female officer told Logunov to “stop the drama, shut the fuck up.” Another officer repeated that to him a few minutes later. One of the officers also told him to “put ice on your face at home and you’ll be alright.”

“This is a terrible crime, as such, we are dedicating our full efforts to capturing the attackers. The Miami Beach Police Department prides itself on its inclusion of everyone,” a spokesperson for the Miami Beach Police Department said. “If anyone feels mistreated by any of our officers, they are encouraged to contact MBPD’s Internal Affairs unit so that any complaint can be addressed immediately.”

Miami Beach City Commissioner Michael Gongora also weighed in saying “I am disturbed by this and have sent to the Police Chief for investigation. Being Miami Beach’s first and only openly gay commissioner it’s important to me that our community be safe and treated well – especially during Gay Pride.”

My initial report including video of the attack is here.