Blinded man says ex’s family attacked him for “turning” their son gay
▶ Watch Video: Prosecutors: 3 face hate crimes charges in attack on gay man in Florida
Fort Lauderdale — The victim of an alleged brutal beating that left him permanently blind told deputies he was ambushed by the family of his supposed boyfriend of nine months, CBS Miami reports. He said it all happened because they believed he’d “turned” their son gay.
His account of the night of August 6, 2021 is laid out in a newly-released arrest warrant.
The 31-year-old victim’s name is being withheld due to Marsy’s Law.
The victim, who lived in Pompano Beach, told Broward County sheriff’s deputies he’d been in a relationship with 21-year-old suspect Oleh Makarenko.
The victim said that at the end of July 2021, Oleh had told him his parents had found out he was homosexual and that “his father was now treating him poorly and not accepting him, and his mother was forcing him to marry a woman.”
His father and mother are suspects Yevhen and Inna Makarenko.
The victim told police he knew something was unusual on August 6 because Oleh had asked for his address, even though the victim said Oleh had stayed there often and even had his own key.
When the victim came to open the gate for him around 1:00 a.m., he saw Oleh and his family, whom he recognized from photos.
He said Oleh appeared nervous and shouted at him “Go inside!”
He said that’s when they chased him and forced their way into his apartment.
He said Oleh and Inna watched him get beaten. At one point, according to the arrest warrant, the victim said he turned to her and said, “Unfortunately, your son is gay.”
The account goes on to say, “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 arrest warrant says that at around 3:00 p.m., some 14 hours after the alleged attack, a sheriff’s deputy was responding to the apartment complex for an unrelated event when he noticed the victim’s door open. The deputy said he was lying on the ground with blood surrounding him.
At first, the victim said he had been drinking and fell. About six months later, he told investigators he got his memory back and wanted to press charges.
The Makarenkos’ attorney, Mike Glasser, said, “We’re supposed to receive substantial discovery tomorrow [Thursday] in advance of Monday’s 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 guy’s injuries,” Glasser told CBS Miami in a previous interview.
Yevhen, Inna, Oleh, and Vladyslav Makarenko are all facing charges of attempted murder, battery, and kidnapping. Yevhen, Inna, and Oleh also have had hate crime charges added by the Broward State Attorney’s Office. Vladyslav was extradited from Alabama.
They’re in the Broward County jail. Inna Makarenko is scheduled to have a bond hearing Monday.
Glasser says the family has lived in the United States for six years and never had any issues with the law. They run a design business called MakSky LLC.
An online petition claims the Makarenko family is not guilty and links to a site to raise money for their defense.