Miami Pride Attack update:
On Sunday, April 8, 2018, during the festivities of Miami Beach Gay Pride (MBGP) four men viciously attacked and wounded two pride attendees.
The two men attacked, couple Rene Chalarca and Dmitry Logunov, were exiting a South Beach restroom when the four unexpected men began to push and punch the couple. A good samaritan, Helmut Muller Estrada, try warding off the attackers but instead became a victim as well. Later, Estrada was honored by the City of Miami Beach for his courage.
Much of the incident was caught on close-by surveillance cameras in the area. Police released the footage the next day asking the public for their help in identifying the attackers. By the next evening on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, the four men, Luis M. Alonso; 20, and 21-year-olds; Juan C. Lopez, Adonis Diaz, and Pablo Reinaldo Romo, turned themselves into authorities with their lawyer present.
Alonso, Lopez, Diaz, and Romo were booked and charged the same day with aggravated battery charges. The four attackers quietly made bail shortly after and avoided any camera interaction with an NBCMIAMI.com reporter who was the only news station present during their speedy departure from the jail site.
A Victory for LGBT rights
On Thursday, May 10, 2018, the four attackers showed up in court for their arraignment hearing. At that time, prosecutors from the Hate Crime Unit, Justin Funck and Luis Caso, charged the four men with a hate crime essentially removing their second-degree felony charges of aggravated battery and replacing them with first-degree felonies punishable by up to 30 years in person.
The charges were predicated on the notion that the four men gay bashed Chalarca and Logunov. During their attack of the victims, the four men hurled not only punches at Chalarca and Logunov but also verbal anti-gay slurs in Spanish, calling the two men maricones, which means faggots. From what was reported thus far, the incident started after one of the two victims accidentally bumped into Lopez near the restroom off of Ocean Drive and Sixth Street.