Gay California Couple Attacked In Key West Over Wearing A Speedo

Two gay men from West Hollywood, California, were vacationing in Key West, Florida, when they became the victims of a hate crime.


According to the Sun-Sentinel, the two men had rented a large boat and dinghy in order to spend the day on Wisteria Island, a small federally-owned uninhabited island located several hundred yards off Key West.

After enjoying the afternoon on the island, the two men were preparing to leave when a couple, identified as Christopher Thomas John Yarema and Stephanie Lynn Burnham, approached shouting obscenities.

According to the police report, one of the gay men was wearing a Speedo-style swimsuit and it upset the couple.

One attacker yelled, “Hey, Mr. Speedo [expletive], get the [expletive] off our island.”


That was followed by Burnham shouting, “You have five seconds to get off, or I will kill you.”

Yarema reportedly punched one of the men and broke his sunglasses, and Burnham then slammed the same man with an oar.

When the man pushed her away in an attempt to defend himself, Yarema pulled out a knife and began slashing at the men yelling, “You knocked down my wife, I’m going to kill you!”

At one point, Yarema punctured the men’s dingy, but the two men were able to escape to their larger rental boat before it had completely deflated.


Once back onboard, they were able to radio the U.S. Coast Guard for help.

The Sun-Sentinel reports that Yarema, a fisherman and roofer, has been charged with aggravated assault and causing property damage.

And Burnham, described as a Key West laborer, is charged with battery and causing property damage.

The boat rental company told the police the damage to the dinghy is estimated at between $2000 and $5000. The sunglasses that were broken in the scuffle were apparently worth about $800.

(h/t Sun-Sentinel)

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