“I’m sure 100 percent," Juan Carlos Lopez's dad asserts.
One of the attackers who beat up a gay couple at Miami Beach Pride in April has a gay dad who says his son, Juan Carlos Lopez, could not have been a part of a hate crime because he was raised by same-sex parents for 15 years.
His dad, Juan Lopez, said the men in question have never attacked "any gay people."
He said that his son respects "everybody in this community" and "loves LGBT," adding, “I’m sure 100 percent.”
The four suspects, Juan Carlos Lopez, Adonis Diaz, Pablo Romo-Figueroa, and Luis Alonso-Piovet confronted Rene Chalarca and Dimitri Lugonov, a gay couple, outside a Miami Beach public restroom during that city's Pride this year. Cameras caught them beating up the men and a bystander, Helmut Muller, who tried to help.
The assailants fled the scene but turned themselves in later, they were charged with three counts of aggravated battery. They all could spend 15 years in prison, but that could be doubled if a jury deems the attack as a hate crime.
Both Chalarca and Lugonov say they believe they were beaten up because of “the way that we were dressed” how they looked and that they were together. Reports claim that the attackers shouted gay slurs in Spanish.
Dennis Gonzales, the lawyer defending the accused says the incident was not a hate crime.
“These kids grew up with their friend Juan,” Gonzales said. “The father has been in a gay relationship for the last 15 years.”