Two victims were attacked by four young men in Miami Beach after the city’s Gay Pride Parade Sunday in what police think may have been a hate crime.
In video footage of the incident, four young men — one wearing a Florida International University T-shirt — are seen walking up to a bathroom area on Ocean Drive and Sixth Street at about 7:40 p.m. Sunday. Two other men walk out, and are immediately attacked by the four. One of the attackers shouts a Spanish slur used to refer to LGBT men before he and the other attackers begin repeatedly punching the two men.
When the two victims, who sustained multiple injuries to their faces, began to run away, the attackers chased them, Miami Beach police said.
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That’s when Helmut Muller, who was standing near the bathrooms at the time of the fight, went after the attackers to break up the fight. Muller said he saw when the men walked up and said the fight was completely unprovoked.
“It happened so quick,” said Muller, 29. “They almost killed this guy, literally.”
Muller said the two victims were injured badly, with multiple bruises and cuts.
When he tried to break up the fight, one of the attackers knocked him out and he hit his head on the concrete, he said. The fall left Muller with a large gash on the back of his head that required four stitches and a pool of blood on the pavement. The attackers then ran toward the beach.
One of the victims told NBC 6 News that he and his partner were holding hands when they were attacked.
“For me, the way we were dressed and everything and we were together, for me it was like, yes, it was a hate crime,” he said.
Police are asking for help to identify the men involved in the attack. Three are described as Hispanic white males, each about 5 foot 8, and between the ages of 19 and 24. Anyone with information should call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.
Muller said the motivation behind the assault was “horrible.”
“I don’t agree with it,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight, we all should respect each other.”