(Photo: Inna, Yevhen, Vladyslav, and Oleh "Alex" Makarenko)
A gay man from South Florida who says members of a family beat him so badly he was left blind has shared the details of the attack.
The man, who has remained unidentified, told local station WSVN that he thought he was going to be killed by his attackers when he was assaulted in Pompano Beach in August.
“Definitely, they were trying to kill me. They were trying to hurt me,” he told the station. “I was thinking I was going to die, and there’s no way I was going to walk out of there alive.”
Inna and Yevhen Makarenko and their son Oleh — also known as “Alex” — have been charged with attempted felony murder. Another son, Vladyslav, was arrested and prosecutors are still reviewing his involvement.
The family has denied attacking the man.
The 31-year-old alleged victim said that he was targeted by the family because he had been dating 21-year-old Oleh for about nine months.
“He was a little afraid of his family or very afraid of his family,” the man told the station. “He was telling me that his dad was treating him like he wasn’t even his child, that his mom was trying to force him to marry a girl, and I’m quoting what his mom said to him. She wanted him to force him to marry a girl to ‘take all this [expletive] out of his head.'”
The two took a weeks-long break.
After two weeks, the four family members went to the man’s apartment and forced their way in, according to the victim. “Alex told me he hated me, and I told them, like, ‘Unfortunately, no matter what you do, it’s not going to change that your son is gay. I’m sorry, but your son is gay,'” the man said.
His body was not discovered the following day by deputies who saw the door open and investigated while responding to an unrelated call in the area, according to local CBS affiliate WFOR. The victim said he initially told police he had fallen after drinking alcohol but later admitted he lied to protect Oleh.
He told police he didn’t remember what happened afterward. He says that besides losing his eyesight, he has brain trauma, a blood infection, and broken bones from the attack.
WSVN reports that Oleh and Yevhen are still in jail while Inna was released on bond.