Gay couple assaulted during Miami Beach Pride event, police say

Detectives searching for 4 men seen leaving attack on surveillance video

By Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor, Louis Aguirre - Anchor/Reporter

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - A gay couple and a bystander who tried to help them were assaulted Sunday after the Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade, police said.

Rene Chalarca and Dimitri Lugonov told police they were were attacked by three men after they shared a hug while waiting to use a restroom at Lumus Park in the 500 block of Ocean Drive.

Chalarca and Lugonov said one of their attackers yelled an offensive Spanish word for homosexuals before hitting them several times, according to the police report. A bystander who saw the attack and tried to intervene was pushed to the ground and suffered a cut to the back of his head, the report said.

Police said Chalarca and Lugonov had cuts and bruises on their faces and were treated by paramedics at the scene. The bystander was taken to Mount Sinai Medical Center for treatment.

Chalarca and Lugonov believe they were targeted because they are gay.

"We were together. So for me, it's like, yes, it was a hate crime," Chalarca said. 

Police are searching for these four men.

Several other people witnessed the attack, the report said.

Police said surveillance cameras recorded the three men and another man as they left the scene of the attack. Police released the video and images of the men Monday in hopes of finding them.

Anyone with information about the attack is asked to contact Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-571-TIPS.

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