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.
Here’s surveillance video of the incident back in April 2018.
— ABC News (@ABC) April 10, 2018
— Jamie Guirola (@jamieNBC6) April 10, 2018