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A Florida family is accused of nearly severely beating a man so bad that he’s left with permanent damage because they thought he "made" their son gay.
Broward State Attorney’s Office had filed hate crime charges last week against three people for the alleged severe beating of a man in the summer of 2021 "based on his sexual orientation,” the office stated in a press release.
Father Yevhen Makarenko, 43, mother Inna Makarenko, 44, and son Oleh Makarenko, 21, have been charged with hate crimes for attempted first-degree murder, battery during the burglary of a dwelling, and kidnapping. The trio all face life if convicted. Oleh’s brother, Vladyslav Makarenko, 25, is being held on attempted murder, kidnapping and battery charges.
Oleh reportedly had a relationship with the 31-year-old victim, who “has been permanently blinded and sustained other serious injuries as a result of the incident.”
The victim has invoked a state law to protect his privacy.
The family allegedly attacked him in August after the parents found out he was in a relationship with Oleh, according to the Miami Herald. Oleh even had a key to the man's apartment; he dated him in secret for nine months.
According to the victim, Oleh’s father “found out that he was homosexual” and “was treating him poorly and was not accepting him,” an arrest warrant obtained by the Herald states. Oleh “also advised that his mother was going to force him to marry a woman,” according to the arrest warrant.
All four family members are accused of holding down the victim and beating him.
“Unfortunately, your son’s gay,” the victim told police he said to Inna, a comment that allegedly led to one of them grabbing an “unknown object” to strike “him in the face.”
The victim said the family didn’t leave him until he pretended to be dead, lying in a pool of his own blood.
“He stated that the reason for this attack was because he was a homosexual, was dating Oleh and that the family felt that he made Oleh a homosexual,” the warrant states.
Meanwhile, Oleh’s fiancée told WPLG-10 that Oleh is not gay.
“I don’t believe it at all, I have proof,” Christina Herman stated. “I wear a ring which is an engagement and one kind of marriage ring. I know Alex has his ring in jail. That is proof to me. I know we are in a relationship.”
Michael Glasser, a lawyer for the family, claims that the victim is lying; he points out that he didn’t recall the story until February, a month before the family’s arrest. Initially, the victim supposedly claimed that his severe injuries were the result of falling down while drunk.
The victim was on a ventilator for three weeks, according to the Herald, and has had four surgeries as a result of his injuries, which included a concussion, a fractured jaw and multiple facial bone fractures. Doctors expect he will never regain his eyesight.
“He said, ‘Oh, now I have a recollection of what happened, and it was this family, and they came and beat me because I was in a relationship with her son and they didn’t like it,’” Glasser said, according to CBS Miami.
He added, that “Many, if not all of them, didn’t even know this person in any way shape or form and they adamantly denied being there at the residence for any of the incident.”
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