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Third man charged in Florida gay bashing

Third man charged in Florida gay bashing

A third man was charged in the beating of a gay couple at a Greek restaurant in what police are calling a hate crime. Michael Kitsos, 21, of Tarpon Springs, Fla., turned himself in to police Tuesday. Kitsos, along with John A. Himonetos, 21, and Stamatios N. Kannis, 22, punched and kicked two men as they tried to leave Zorbas Restaurant and Lounge with friends, police said. Peter Malamoutsis, 22, and R. Gregory Hall, 31, both of Bartow, were with a group of about 10 friends early Saturday when Malamoutsis was approached by Himonetos, whom he knew. When the group started to leave, they were attacked in the parking lot, where they were called a derogatory name and told not to come back to Tarpon Springs, police said. Police said the attackers hurled insults in both Greek and English. Mary Klimis Coburn, attorney for Kitsos and Kannis, wrote in a statement that the two men did "not hate anyone.... This case has been overcharged and now sensationalized by the media." Kitsos was being held at Pinellas County Jail on $70,000 bail for three counts of battery and two counts of aggravated battery. Himonetos and Kannis are being held on $41,500 bail each for two counts of felony aggravated battery and three counts of misdemeanor battery.

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