MIAMI BEACH: Hate Crime Charges For Gay Bashers

The Miami Herald reports:

The four young men accused of attacking a gay couple on South Beach face stiffer penalties after prosecutors charged them Thursday under Florida’s hate-crime enhancement law. The group was charged with aggravated battery committed with prejudice, which means each could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted of the attack that took place during Miami Beach’s annual gay pride parade.

Police say the attack happened in April after one of the victims accidentally bumped into 21-year-old Juan Carlos Lopez near a bathroom area near Ocean Drive and Sixth Street. As depicted on surveillance video, the attackers repeatedly punched the two gay men, Rene Chalarca and Dmitry Logunov, in the face, causing cuts and bruises. The blows temporarily knocked out Logunov.

(Tipped by JMG reader Claudio)