Prosecutors: 3 face hate crimes charges in attack on gay man

April 12, 2022 GMT

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Florida prosecutors said they filed hate crime charges Tuesday against three people accused of severely beating a man because of his sexual orientation.

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

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

Officials haven’t released many details about the attack in order to protect the victim’s privacy, but prosecutors have confirmed that the Makarenkos knew the victim before the attack and specifically targeted him because he is gay.

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Broward County deputies arrested the group last month, and they’re being held without bond.

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

Defense attorneys for the three people charged didn’t immediately responds to emails seeking comment from The Associated Press.