The gay father of one of the men accused of beating a gay couple after Miami Beach's Pride Parade in April is defending his son, arguing he did not act out of hate toward the LGBT community.
Juan Lopez, the father of Juan Carlos Lopez, said that he raised his son along with his partner of 15 years. Lopez said his son and his three friends have never attacked "any gay people."
"I’m sure 100 percent of that," he said, adding that his son respects "everybody in this community" and that he "loves LGBT."
In early June, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office released body camera footage of police responding to the incident shortly after the Pride Parade ended on April 8.
Video also shows the arrest of the four men charged in the alleged attack – Luis M. Alonso, 20, and 21-year-olds Lopez, Adonis Diaz and Pablo Reinaldo.
Prosecutors filed enhanced hate crime charges, arguing the suspects acted out of "animus" toward the LGBT community.
However, the suspect's lawyer, Dennis Gonzales, argues that "clearly, that's not the case."
"These kids grew up with their friend Juan – their father has been in a gay relationship the last 15 years. These kids have participated in that – that's at issue," the lawyer said.
According to police, Rene Chalarca and Dmitry Logunov were standing near public restrooms when they were randomly attacked.
According to an arrest report, the incident began when Logunov and Romo bumped into each other near the restrooms.
Police said the victims were called gay slurs in Spanish during the attack.