A man left permanently blind by an alleged attack in Florida claims his boyfriend’s family were behind it because they believe he “turned” their son gay.
Three family members, Inna (44), Yevhen (43) and Oleh Makarenko (21), are facing hate crime charges in connection to the attack, according to the Broward State Attorney’s Office in Miami, Florida.
The three, who have been in jail since March, have been formally charged on counts of first-degree attempted murder, burglary with battery and kidnapping, and have pled not guilty to the charges, Miami Herald reported.
The 31-year-old alleged victim was beaten so badly that he is now permanently blind and has sustained other serious injuries as a result of the attack.
According to CBS Miami, the victim told police officers that he had been in a relationship with one of the suspects, Oleh Makarenko.
The victim said that in July 2021, Oleh had told him his parents found out he was gay and that “his father was now treating him poorly and not accepting him, and his mother was forcing him to marry a woman”.
On 6 August, the victim alleged that Oleh and his parents came to his apartment, and Oleh shouted at him to go inside, after which, Oleh’s parents forced their way into the building.
CBS Miami reported the arrest warrant as saying: “One of them grabbed an unknown object and struck him in the face, [the victim] stated. After falling to the floor, he pretended to be dead so they would believe he was dead and stop beating him.”
The Makarenko’s attorney, Mike Glasser, said: “We’re supposed to receive substantial discovery… in advance of Monday’s (25 April) bond hearing. At this point, I remain steadfastly confident they had nothing whatsoever to do with the apparently awful injuries the gentleman sustained.
“Thus far, there’s really been scant and borderline nothing remotely compelling that points to this family having anything to do with this poor guys injuries.”
Inna Makarenko is scheduled to have a bond hearing on Monday (25 April).