MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) — Two Miami Beach men who were attacked after leaving a Gay Pride event over the weekend are grateful for all the support they’ve received from the community.
The attacked happened Sunday around 7:30 p.m. near the restrooms at 6th Street and Ocean Drive.
“We were coming out of the bathroom and they started hitting on us, punching us, and kicking us when we were on the floor. They had no reason to, basically killing us,” said Rene.
“They were calling us faggots,” said Dmitry. “They were Spanish speaking and they called us faggots and there was fighting and I know this was gay pride.”
“I feel kinda like stressed, like overwhelmed, like, I don’t know, I’ve been thinking about it over and over again, yet I don’t get any conclusion,” he said.Rene said he still doesn’t know what happened to provoke the four men into attacking them.
“It seen like they wanted to kill us because if you see the video it seems like there were a lot of people beating him and me,” said Dmitry.
Police released surveillance video of the attack that shows the men hitting Rene and Dmitry who attempted run away.
A man, who saw Rene and Dmitry, being chased tried to help. He was hit and knocked to the ground by the men. Dmitry said what was so disturbing was that the attack happened right out in the open.
“I’m very scared because of the environment in which it happened, there was a lot of people and luckily there was a gentleman who wanted to help us and he got injured as well by these people,” said Dmitry.
That man who tried to help, Helmut Muller, was also beaten and ended up needing staples in the back of his head.
“I thought I was doing the right thing. I was trying. I didn’t do enough,” he said.
“It’s a disrespect for the whole community. We were celebrating love and equality and I guess it’s not there yet,” he added. “We still need to work on it.”
Rene and Dmitry said they’ve received a lot of support, even from people they don’t even know, which they find heartening.
“We feel that we are not alone, that’s for sure and we want to thank everyone for that,” said Dmitry.
Both Rene and Dmity want to see justice prevail.
“I really want to see them caught because we need to get them off the street so nothing like this will happen again,” said Rene.
They may get their wish as late Tuesday afternoon the four subjects turned themselves in to Miami Beach Police.
This is being investigated as a potential hate crime.
If prosecutors agree that this was a hate crime, there would be enhanced penalties.
The four men suspected in the beating turned themselves in to police Tuesday afternoon, CBS Miami reported.