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The office of the state attorney in Broward County, Florida, has confirmed that they are filing hate-crime charges against three members of the same family who attacked a 31-year-old gay man so severely that he has been left permanently blind.

Inna Makarenko (45) her husband Yevhen Makarenko (44) and the couple’s son Oleh Makarenko (21), who were arrested last month, were charged on Tuesday with attempted first-degree murder, battery during the burglary of a dwelling, and kidnapping. A fourth member of the family, Vladyslav Makarenko (25), is currently being investigated although charges are yet to be brought.

The case is being handled by the newly formed State Attorney’s Office Hate Crimes Unit.

The unit was created by Broward State Attorney Harold F. Pryor recently “to combat hate crimes, raise public awareness of this issue, and help increase reporting of such crimes in our community.”

“Hate crimes send a message to try to demean and intimidate the intended targets, they have an impact that extends far beyond the victim. We urge everyone to work together to help increase awareness of hate crimes and encourage people to report these offences,” Pryor posted on Facebook.

Authorities have chosen not to release the name of the victim although the state attorney’s office did confirm that the Pompano Beach resident: “…has been permanently blinded and sustained other serious injuries as a result of the incident.”

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