Man Who Says He Was Nearly Beaten To Death By Lover's Family For Being Gay Speaks Out
The alleged victim of a homophobic attack in Florida speaks about the attack that left him badly beaten and blinded forever.
"Because I'm gay, yes," the man, who could not be identified after invoking a local privacy law, told local Miami affiliate WPLG. "Because I'm gay, they think I made his son gay."
The man said he had a secret romantic relationship with Oleh Makarenko, 21, and when his family found out about it, they became violent. Makarenko was charged along with his father Yevhen Makarenko, 43, and mother Inna Makarenko, 44, on hate crime charges of attempted first-degree murder, assault in a home burglary and kidnapping. Oleh's brother Vladyslav Makarenko, 25, is also being held on charges of attempted murder, kidnapping and battery charging. Inna was granted bail but the rest of the family remains behind bars.
The 31-year-old victim was found badly beaten in his apartment in the summer of 2021. Prosecutors Broward previously said he was "permanently blinded and suffered other serious injuries as a result of the incident." The victim was on a ventilator for three weeks, according to the Miami Herald, and underwent four surgeries for his injuries, which included a concussion, a broken jaw and multiple facial fractures. Doctors assume he will never regain his sight.
"Medically, there's nothing they can do for me," the man told WPLG this week. "The nerves were dead."
He became emotional as he explained that he could no longer help his mother.
"My mother used to depend on me and I can't help her anymore," he said. "I honestly don't know how to hold it together."
The family reportedly assaulted him in August after Oleh's parents found out he was in a relationship with their son, according to the Miami Herald. Apparently, Oleh even had a key to the man's apartment; he allegedly dated him secretly for nine months.
Oleh "advised [the victim] that his mother would force him to marry a woman," the warrant reads. Oleh's fiancee denied the allegations to WPLG.
All four family members are accused of holding down and hitting the victim after becoming angry about the relationship.
Michael Glasser, a family attorney, said the victim was lying; He points out that he only recalled the story in February, a month before the family's arrest. The victim is said to have initially claimed that his serious injuries were the result of a drunken fall.
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