POMPANO BEACH (CBSMIAMI) — Three people are facing hate crime charges after the Broward State Attorney's Office says they attacked a man due to his sexual orientation.
The State Attorney's Office says on August 6, 2021, the 31-year-old man, who is not being identified after invoking Marsy's Law, was beaten so badly he is now permanently blind.
Yevhen Makarenko, Oleh Makarenko and Inna Makarenko were all previously charged with attempted murder, burglary battery and kidnapping in relation to the alleged crime.
"He said, 'Oh, now I have a recollection of what happened, and it was this family, and they came and beat me because I was in a relationship with her son and they didn't like it,'" said Attorney Michael Glasser.
Glasser, who is representing the Makarenkos, says the alleged victim first told police he was drunk and fell. But then six months later the victim told authorities he was in a secret relationship with Oleh Makarenko, which Glasser says the family denies.
"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 said.
The Makarenkos were arrested for these charges back in March at the Pompano Beach house they were staying at. The hate crime charges were added April 12.
According to the arrest forms, the August attack was premeditated. The forms say, "They secretly, forcibly or by threat abducted or imprisoned the victim against his will… to terrorize him." They go on to say the three "struck the victim numerous times… causing serious bodily injury and disfigurement, almost resulting in his death."
"Thus far, there's really been scant and borderline nothing remotely compelling that points to this family having anything to do with this poor guys injuries," Glasser said.
WATCH: CBS4's Karli Barnett Speaks With Michael Glasser, Attorney For The Makarenkos
CBS4's Karli Barnett went to the home. Someone answered the door, identifying himself as a family friend, but did not agree to talk on camera.
On the mailbox, there were taped signs with a QR code saying to "help Ukrainian refugees wrongly jailed." The code leads to an online petition with 360 signatures. The description reads, in part:
"The three arrested family members—mother, father, and son are being accused of severe crimes with multiple charges against them! These could result in a life-in-prison-sentence in the United States or (if even possible) deportation back to Ukraine—where an excruciating war is happening now."
The site says the family has been in the United States six years, and they are the owners of MakSky Design LLC.
They also have a link to collect money for their defense. They have raised about $4,000.
A fourth family member, Vladyslav Makarenko, is in the Broward County Jail awaiting possible hate crime charges as well. He had to be extradited from Alabama.
Yevhen, Oleh and Inna Makarenko are scheduled to be in court April 13. They are being held without bond.
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