Three gay men visiting Miami Beach got more than they expected from their vacation on the morning of June 21. A stranger physically attacked the men for being gay, but he wasn’t prepared for the three friends to put up a fight.
WSVN News reports the three tourists–who have not revealed their names publicly–aged 18, 19 and 20, crossed paths with Glenford Rhule, 24 while taking a picture on Miami Beach’s Ocean Drive. Rhule, who stands 6’4″ and weighs 220lbs., approached the men and asked if they were gay.
“‘Are you gay? Ugh, I don’t like gay people,’” the first victim recalled Rhule saying to them. “He ended up spitting at me, and then, that’s when he threw the beer at me.”
The three friends told Rhule to move away. Rhule responded by hitting the first victim in the back with a chair and punching him. Knocked to the ground, the young man noticed a knife laying nearby. He grabbed it and defended his friends, stabbing Rhule in the side.
“I just saw something shiny on the ground, and I just stuck him with it,” the first victim said. “I ended up stabbing him.”
Then, in a twist befitting a horror film, Rhule actually pulled the knife out of his body and tried attacking the three victims with it.
“He had a knife in his hand, and I’m like, ‘He got a knife! He’s chasing my friend,’” the second victim said.
The three victims escaped to the nearby Sherbrooke Hotel for help with Rhule following close behind, knife in hand. When he entered the hotel lobby, guests reacted in terror.
“It looked like a knife in his hand,” Sherbrooke Hotel owner Mitch Novick told reporters. “People were turning around with fear in their eyes.”
Police arrived on the scene moments later and arrested Rhule. Staff at a nearby hospital treated him for his stab wound before transferring him to a nearby jail to face charges of battery. At the time of this writing, he has not faced formal hate crime charges.
“It’s a hate crime,” the third victim insists. “You know, no one should be treated like that.”
While the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office continues to review the details of the case to see if it qualifies under hate crime statutes, Rhule’s victims have a simple message to anyone who would consider a similar attack:
“He doesn’t F with f*ggots,” the second victim declared.