Jordan Schaeffer, the 25-year-old man who was viciously attacked for kissing his boyfriend inside a Florida Burger King last month, is speaking out for the first time.
"Even talking about it makes me uncomfortable," Schaeffer told Florida TV station WTVJ.
Schaeffer and his boyfriend, Eric Danko, 25, were visiting Miami Beach from Los Angeles when they were attacked by a man who was waiting for his order behind them in the Burger King Whopper Bar. The couple told the police the man was "offended" by their embrace. He went on to confront the couple and harass them, "using derogatory words," according to Miami TV station WFOR's March report.
The confrontation then turned physical, the station reports. Schaeffer and the harasser were soon wrestling on the floor, and shortly into the fight another man pushed Danko away and blocked other patrons from intervening. Surveillance video shows the assailant continuing to beat Schaeffer, who suffered lacerations to his lip, nose, face, wrist, and back.
It was Schaeffer's first time visiting Miami Beach. The trip was supposed to be a relaxing one for the Los Angeles-based couple, but instead, Schaffer says, "The biggest injury has been all the emotional trauma."
The incident happened across the street from police headquarters. "We're in 2016 and especially in a city like Miami Beach, where I thought being homosexual would be pretty accepted, it's just not right that anyone should suffer," Schaeffer told WTVJ on Monday.
Schaeffer is currently back in Los Angeles, where he is recovering from his injuries, reports WTVJ. His lawyers say that they plan to file severe charges against the suspects -- if and when they are caught.
The Miami Beach police told WFOR in March that they believe the men were attacked because they're gay. "The subjects in this case happen to be gay individuals and that's part of our investigation to see what provoked that attack," said Miami Beach police officer Ernesto Rodriguez.
Schaeffer's attorney, Douglas Ede, is also seeking hate crime charges against the suspects. "We believe this was a hate crime against Jordan because of his sexual orientation," Ede told WTVJ on Monday.
Police said they are pursuing the case as a felony battery, and are coordinating with the state's attorney's office to investigate it as a hate crime. The restaurant released surveillance footage, which the police hope will aid in identifying the suspects.