Hate Crime Added to Charges for Men Accused of Beating Gay Couple on South Beach

Four men now face aggravated battery with prejudice charges

The four men accused of beating up a gay couple on South Beach after last month's gay pride parade in an attack that was caught on camera are now facing enhanced hate crime charges, it was announced Thursday.

Luis M. Alonso, 20, and 21-year-olds Juan C. Lopez, Adonis Diaz and Pablo Reinaldo Romo were initially charged with multiple counts of aggravated battery, but Miami-Dade prosecutors filed the enhanced aggravated battery with prejudice hate crime charges Thursday morning.

The suspects also had their bond amounts increased under the new charges.

According to police, Rene Chalarca and Dmitry Logunov were standing near public restrooms in the 500 block of Lummus Park when they were randomly attacked by the four men on April 8, shortly after the pride parade ended.

"We probably provoked them because we were walking together, holding hands. It was gay pride, South Beach was full of gay people," said Logunov.

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. They started to run away and were chased by the suspects and punched repeatedly, police said.

Helmut Muller Estrada, a good Samaritan who tried to break up the attack, was also punched and had to be hospitalized.

The four suspects surrendered to police two days later. They were released from jail after posting bail.

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