A Pompano Beach gay man was left permanently blinded in a savage attack by members of a family who believed he was responsible for making their son gay, according to court documents released this week.
The arrest warrants offer new details of the brutal attack — and the suspected motive — in the case against members of the Makarenko family, who were charged last week with attempted murder under Florida's "hate crime" law, as reported by the Miami Herald.
Victim Attacked After Family Found Out the Son was in a Relationship with Him
According to prosecutors, Inna Makarenko, 44, Yevhen Makarenko, 43, and two of their adult sons, Oleh and Vladyslav, stormed the gay man's apartment in August, savagely beating him and leaving him to die on the blood-covered floor for 13 hours. They allegedly attacked the man because the parents found out the victim had been in a gay relationship with Oleh, authorities say.
"All four suspects continued holding [the victim] and began punching, kicking and hitting [him] all over his face, head and body," the warrant said. Deputies found the severely injured man while they were at the apartment complex investigating an unrelated case.
"Unfortunately, your son's gay," the victim told Inna as he was being beaten, the warrant said. At that point, one of them grabbed an "unknown object and struck him in the face." The victim pretended to be dead, and the family members fled, leaving him covered in blood on the floor. "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 said.
The victim, who has asked to remain anonymous, said he dated 21-year-old Oleh for about nine months — Oleh had slept over many times and even had a key to his apartment. However, in the summer of 2021, the victim learned that Oleh's father "found out that he was homosexual" and "was treating him poorly and was not accepting him."
Oleh "also advised that his mother was going to force him to marry a woman," according to the arrest warrant by Broward Sheriff's Detective Conor Ryan.
Victim Filed a Report in February After Regaining Memory of the Incident
The victim, who was medically intubated for three weeks, did not initially tell police what happened. It was not until February that the man said "his memory of the incident" had returned and he wanted to press charges.
In addition to becoming blind, the man suffered extensive injuries, including a concussion, severe bruising and brain swelling, multiple fractures in his facial bones, and a fractured jaw. He's had four surgeries, and will need at least two more. He "has been told he will most likely never regain eyesight in either eye again," according to the warrant.
He's also racked up over $100,000 in medical bills, the warrant said. "This crime was a senseless and unprovoked attack done onto a homosexual man, just due to the mere fact that he was homosexual," Detective Ryan wrote.
Makarenkos' Lawyer Denies the Allegations, Says Victim's Credibility was Quesitionable
The Makarenkos' defense lawyer, Michael Glasser,. told WFOR-CBS4 last week that the victim's credibility was questionable because he waited six months to implicate the family.
"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," Glasser told the station. "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."