Florida police have arrested two men in connection to the vicious beating of a group of LGBTQ+ women, including a lesbian and a trans woman, that was caught on camera.
Jorge Giovanni Estevez, 33, and Daiken Fernandez, 25, were arrested on Wednesday (27 December) for a vicious attack against a group of LGBTQ+ women in November.
Estevez was charged with battery with prejudice while Fernandez was charged with two counts of felony battery with prejudice, NBC6 South Florida reported.
The horrific incident happened on 26 November in Miami’s Wynwood neighbourhood after a group of LGBTQ+ women left a rooftop “White Party” event, according to the Miami New Times.
Witness Kaci Melendez told the outlet that the evening went south when one of the men from Fernandez’s group made offensive catcalls towards the women. It triggered a verbal argument in which a man said they would never receive a good “d**king” because they’re lesbians, Melendez said.
One victim, who asked not to be identified, said the men who attacked the group of LGBTQ+ women hurled homophobic slurs before things took a violent turn.
In a video of the attack, the LGBTQ+ women are heard pleading with the men to stop and warning that they’ve called the authorities. Two men wearing white shirts were seen attacking another man, who was a friend of the group of lesbians and a trans woman, after he tried to intervene.
One of the victims identified Fernandez as the man who punched her and made her lose consciousness.
She said Fernandez also punched her friend, causing her to fall and hit her head. The friend was left with a concussion and a cut to her forehead that needed stitches as a result of the attack.
The victim also named Estevez as one of the men who punched her.
The trans victim suffered head injuries and extensive bruising as a result of the attack, the Miami New Times reported.
Melendez was left with an “anxiety that [she’s] never felt before” as a result of the incident. She added that she won’t be at any LGBTQ+ events, including Pride, “in Florida in the near future”.
“I’ve never felt this concern about my personal well-being in Miami until this year,” she said. “I feel like anywhere I go, where I’m open about being a lesbian, there’s hate.”