Florida Judge Rejects Self Defense Claim In Assault Of Gay Couple

Four young men (above) charged with battery under Florida’s hate crimes enhancement claimed they acted in self-defense when they assaulted two gay men during a South Beach Pride celebration in April 2018. The judge didn’t buy it.

From the Miami Herald:

Circuit Judge Ariana Fajardo Orshan declined to dismiss the battery charges against Juan Carlos Lopez and three others who’d been charged in the high-profile attack in April 2018. The four were charged with battery under Florida’s “hate-crime” enhancement.

The decision concluded a three-day hearing in which the four men sought immunity under Florida’s Stand Your Ground self-defense law.

The controversial Florida law, passed in 2005, gave judges greater leeway to dismiss charges, and eliminated a citizen’s duty to retreat before using force to counter a threat.

Prosecutors say the incident began when Lopez attacked the couple after one of the men accidentally brushed his arm coming out of the bathroom.

Related: Miami Beach Gay Bashers Surrender To Police

Here’s surveillance video of the incident back in April 2018.