Florida man blinded by beating was attacked by 3 people due to his sexual orientation, officials say

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Florida man blinded by beating was attacked by 3 people due to his sexual orientation, officials say

Three family members are accused of viciously beating a man and leaving him permanently blind because of his sexual orientation, Florida prosecutors said.

Inna Makarenko, 44; her husband Yevhen Makarenko, 43; and their son Oleh Makarenko, 21, were taken into custody by the Broward Sheriff’s Office on March 10 on charges of first-degree attempted murder, battery and kidnapping.

The charges were all filed as hate crimes, the Broward State Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.

Prosecutors said the 31-year-old victim, of Pompano Beach, was attacked in August 2021 because of his sexual orientation.

He was beaten so severely that he “has been permanently blinded and sustained other serious injuries,” the attorney’s office said. A warrant states that the suspects tried to kill the victim.

He has chosen to remain anonymous, prosecutors said.

A fourth person, Vladyslav Makarenko, 25, was arrested in Alabama and is being investigated for a possible connection to the case. No charges have been filed against him.

Inna, Yevhen and Oleh Makarenko have each pleaded not guilty to the charges. They are being held in jail, online records show. Their attorneys did not immediately return a request for comment on Wednesday.

Minyvonne Burke is a senior breaking news reporter for NBC News.

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