The four men surrendered after police released video of the violent attack on gay couple, Rene Chalarca and Dmitry Logunov leaving Miami Beach Gay Pride in April, and now face additional charges under Florida’s hate-crime laws.
The video showed the attackers repeatedly punched the gay men.
“We were coming out of the bathroom and they started hitting us, punching us and kicking us when we were on the floor. They had no reason to, basically killing us,” Chalarca said after the attack.
The attackers, Juan Lopez, Luis Alonso, Adonis Diaz and Pablo Reinaldo Romo, were originally charged with aggravated battery. The penalty will now be increased after the attack was ruled as a hate crime.
Under Florida law, aggravated battery is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. If it’s committed because of someone’s sexual orientation, the crime becomes a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison.