SOUTH BEACH, Fla. – It has been four years since a surveillance video showed when a group of four men beat up Rene Chalarca and Dimitri Lugonov and shouted homophobic slurs during the Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade. On Monday, the attackers showed remorse.
In turn, the victims, who were hospitalized after the 2018 attack in South Beach, showed the four men compassion. Lugonov wrote a letter that a prosecutor read in court to Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Ariana Fajardo Orshan.
“I am taking a chance to rebuild my life and I believe these young men have that chance too,” Lugonov wrote.
Luis Alonso-Piovet, Pablo Romo-Figueroa, Juan Lopez, and Adonis Diaz stood in front of Fajardo Orshan and each of them publicly apologized to Lugonov and Chalarca in front of Fajardo Orshan.
Had prosecutors charged the attack as a hate crime, they could have faced prison time. Attorney David Donet, who represented Lopez, and Attorney Greg Gonzalez, who represented Romo-Figueroa, said their clients accepted a plea deal.
The four pleaded guilty to two counts of battery with prejudice in exchange for five years of probation, 200 hours of community service, and anger management classes.