Suspects in South Beach Gay Pride Attack Back in Custody, Get Higher Bond Amounts

The enhanced hate crime charges mean the four could face as much as 30 years in prison if convicted

What to Know

  • Luis M. Alonso, 20, and 21-year-olds Juan C. Lopez, Adonis Diaz and Pablo Reinaldo Romo had their bonds raised to $72,000 each
  • The enhanced hate crime charges, filed Thursday, mean the four could face as much as 30 years in prison if convicted

The four men accused of beating up a gay couple on South Beach after last month's gay pride parade were taken back into custody Friday after they were given increased bond amounts following the filing of hate crime charges.

Luis M. Alonso, 20, and 21-year-olds Juan C. Lopez, Adonis Diaz and Pablo Reinaldo Romo had their bonds raised to $72,000 each, and will be under house arrest with GPS ankle monitors if they bond out, a judge said at a hearing Friday morning.

"It’s an unfortunate incident and like we said the family condemns any type of aggressiveness or actions towards the gay community, that’s not what these kids did," defense attorney Dennis Gonzalez said. "To say that this crime was motivated because of a sexual orientation of individuals is simply not true."

The enhanced hate crime charges, filed Thursday, mean the four could face as much as 30 years in prison if convicted, rather than only 15 years on previously filed aggravated battery 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 Miami Beach 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.

"We agree with the judge and are looking forward to the end of this story because it’s quite exhausting still, but we are much better now," said Logunov, who attended Friday's hearing.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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