Gay Couple Violently Attacked After Embracing At Miami Pride
Two gay men have been violently attacked while attending Miami Pride, according to CBS Miami. The two victims - Rene Chalarca and Dimitri Lugonov - shared a hug in Lumus Park at around 7:40 p.m. before three men approached them and began calling them gay slurs. Surveillance footage caught the altercation, which left the couple with " cuts and bruises on their faces."
An innocent bystander who attempted to come to the gay couple's defense was thrown to the ground, and had this to say about the horrifying experience:
All I remember is waking up, I’m on the ground and I saw the blood. 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.
Chalarca believes that the attack constitutes as a hate crime, especially considering the perpetrators' uses of gay slurs:
For me, the way we were dressed and everything and we were together, for me it was like, yes, it was a hate crime.
Police are currently searching for the suspects - who were later joined by a fourth man - caught on the surveillance footage. Via Miami Herald:
Police are asking for help to identify the men involved in the attack. Three are described as Hispanic white males, each about 5 foot 8, and between the ages of 19 and 24. Anyone with information should call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.
According to the Miami Pride website, over 135,000 people were in attendance at the celebration of LGBT history and culture in 2017. Needless to say, this is the kind of tragic incident that shouldn't be happening in 2018.
Here is NBC6 Miami's coverage of the incident.