3 family members face charges of hate crimes in an attack that blinded a gay man in Pompano Beach, Florida

Hate crime charges in assault on gay man

Florida prosecutors said they filed charges of hate crime on Tuesday against three family members who have been accused of beating a man severely because of his sexual orientation.

Inna Makarenko, 44; Yevhen Makarenko, 43; and Oleh Makarenko, 21; They were each charged with first-degree murder, beating during a dwelling burglary and kidnapping, according to the Broward State Attorney’s Office. All three face possible life sentences.

The three family members broke into a home on Pompano Beach last August and beat a 31-year-old gay man so badly that he became permanently blind and suffered other serious injuries, prosecutors said.

CBS Miami, citing the arrest forms, said the attack was premeditated.

“They secretly abducted or imprisoned the victim, by force or by threat against his will … to intimidate him,” the forms state. They go on to say that the three “struck the victim several times … causing serious bodily injury and disfigurement, leading to his death.”

Officials have not released many details about the attack to protect the victim’s privacy, but prosecutors have confirmed that the victim was known to the Makarenkos before the attack and was specifically targeted because he was gay.

Karli Barnett of CBS Miami went to the home of the Makarenkos. Someone answered the door, identifying himself as a family friend, but did not agree to speak on camera.

On the mailbox, tape signs with a QR code said “to wrongly help Ukrainian refugees imprison.” The code leads to an online petition with 360 signatures. The description reads, in part: “The three arrested family members – mother, father and son are being charged with serious crimes with multiple charges against them! These could result in a sentence for life in prison in the United States or (if possible) deported back to Ukraine – where a harrowing war is happening now. ”

They’ve already been charged with attempted murder, burglary of beatings, & amp; kidnapping related to the alleged crime. The hate crime charges were added today.

A 4th family member is also in jail awaiting possible charges. @ CBSMiami

Broward County deputies arrested the group last month, and are being held without bond.

A fourth person involved in the attack was transferred from Alabama to Broward County jail on Monday, prosecutors said. No charges were immediately filed.

Attorneys for the three accused persons did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment from The Associated Press.

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