Gay man accusing Ukrainian family of hate crime speaks about brutal beating

Victim was left blind after beating he says was due to a gay relationship with member of family

The victim of a brutal beating believes it happened to him because of his sexual orientation.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The victim of a brutal beating believes it happened to him because of his sexual orientation.

For the first time, the man who cops say was brutally beaten by an entire family because of his sexual orientation is speaking about what happened.

“Because I’m gay, yes,” the victim told Local 10 News’ Rosh Lowe. “Because I’m gay, they think I turned his son gay.”

As a result of that beating, the victim has lost his vision.

“Medically there is nothing they can do for me,” he said. “The nerves were dead.”

According to police, Oleh Makarenko was in a nine-month homosexual relationship with the victim.

That relationship ended with the alleged lover horribly beaten by members of Makarenko’s family, police believe.

Investigators say Makarenko’s family, who are Ukrainian immigrants, became enraged when they found out he was in a gay relationship.

It was on August 6th that authorities say the family barged into the victim’s home and all four of the suspects began punching, kicking, and hitting him all over his face and body.

The mother of the family, Inna Makarenko, was granted bond late last month. The other three remain behind bars.

“He didn’t implicate this family until seven months after the incident,” Attorney Mike Glasser, who is representing the Makarenko family, said of the victim.

Authorities said the reason for that is that the alleged victim was afraid and didn’t want to get Oleh Makarenko in trouble.

He broke down while speaking about how his life has been forced to change, and how its impacting his family.

“My mom used to depend on me and I’m no longer able to help her,” he said. “I honestly don’t know how I am able to keep it together.”

About the Author:

Reporter Rosh Lowe has been covering news for nearly two decades in South Florida. He joined Local 10 in 2021.