Three family members in Florida—and possibly a fourth—are facing potential life sentences over an attack that left a gay man permanently blind. Broward County prosecutors say parents Inna Makarenko, 44, and Yevhen Makarenko, 43, are facing hate crime charges over the Aug. 6, 2021, attack, as is son Oleh Makarenko, 21, CBS reports. They were charged last month with first-degree attempted murder, burglary with battery, and kidnapping. Hate crime charges were filed Tuesday.
Another son, 25-year-old Vladyslav Makarenko, was extradited to Florida from Alabama on Monday and prosecutors are still weighing hate crime charges against him, reports the Bradenton Herald. Prosecutors say the family members knew the 31-year-old victim before the attack and targeted him based on his sexual orientation. In the attack in Pompano Beach, just north of Fort Lauderdale, the Makarenkos allegedly broke into the man's home to beat and "terrorize" him. "He has been permanently blinded and sustained other serious injuries as a result of the incident," prosecutors said in a statement.
According to arrest forms, the family members "struck the victim numerous times ... causing serious bodily injury and disfigurement, almost resulting in his death.” To protect the victim's privacy, authorities haven't disclosed his name or other details of the attack. A CBS Miami reporter who went to the family's home found signs on the mailbox with a QR code for a petition to "help Ukrainian refugees wrongly jailed." According to the petition site, which had more than 350 signatures, the family has been in the US for six years. (Read more hate crime stories.)