A gay man and a transgender woman are suing a Miami Beach Burger King two doors down from one of the city’s most popular LGBTQ nightclubs, saying they were the victims of a violent hate crime attack by two of its employees.
The alleged attack took place last October, after Raymond Ortega and Toni Llerena were asked to leave a section of the fast food restaurant that was closing.
The Miami New Times reports: ‘Ortega and Llerena protested. No one around them was being asked to leave, and the restaurant was still open for another hour and a half. The employee shouted back, saying something to the effect of, “Y’all need to leave, you’re a bunch of faggots.” A security guard stepped in and repeated the slur. Then, “within seconds and without any cause for escalation,” the guard attacked and pepper-sprayed Ortega and Llerena. Ortega says he was repeatedly punched in the face — so hard that he left the restaurant with a broken jaw.’
The Miami Herald reports: ‘The two have now filed a lawsuit against Burger King over the October incident, which left Ortega walking with a limp and with more than $10,000 in dental bills. Their lawyers, Matthew Ladd and Robert Pelier, say once Burger King reveals the names of the employee and the security guard, they plan to report the attack to Miami-Dade prosecutors. “These two are going to get justice,” Ladd said of his clients. “We are going to hold everyone accountable.”’
The same Burger King restaurant was the site of another alleged hate crime in 2016 that was revealed later to have many more sides to it.