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3 men were beaten after Miami Beach's gay pride parade. Was it a hate crime?

The Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office is reviewing evidence to determine if four men should be charged with hate cri...

Posted: Apr 12, 2018 11:55 AM
Updated: Apr 12, 2018 11:55 AM

The Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office is reviewing evidence to determine if four men should be charged with hate crimes in an attack on three men after Miami Beach's annual pride parade, a spokesman said.

Juan C. Lopez, 21; Luis M. Alonso, 20; Adonis Diaz, 21; and Pablo Reinaldo Romo, 21, each face three felony counts of aggravated battery in the Sunday attack, which took place several hours after the parade, outside a public restroom on the parade route.

Miami Beach Police released surveillance camera footage of the beating.

One of the victims told police that one of the suspects yelled an anti-gay slur before hitting him several times, according to a police report.

The surveillance footage shows four people pouncing on two men outside the restroom. On the video, the group takes turns pushing and punching the two men in the head as a bystander tries to intervene. One of the attackers knocked the bystander to the ground, rendering him unconscious when his head struck the pavement, Miami Beach Officer Ernesto Rodriguez said.

Two of the victims still had cuts and bruises on their face when they spoke to CNN affiliate WSVN two days later. They asked not to be identified by their names.

The four suspects turned themselves in to police on Tuesday, Rodriguez said. CNN is waiting to find out from the Miami-Dade Corrections & Rehabilitation Department whether they are still in custody. No counsel information is listed with their inmate records.

When CNN called a number thought to be associated with Lopez, the person who answered hung up. CNN was unable to find contact information for the other three suspects.

They are scheduled for arraignment on May 10.

The state attorney's office is reviewing evidence and interviewing witnesses to determine if a hate crime enhancement should be applied to the felony charges. Such an enhancement could bring harsher penalties.

"This is a weekend on Miami Beach where we celebrate equality," Rodriguez said earlier this week. "Something like this is completely uncalled for, completely unnecessary, and we really need to hold those responsible accountable."

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