Four men suspected of brutally attacking a gay couple following Miami Beach's annual LGBT Pride have been charged with hate-crime related felony offenses.

Rene Chalarca and Dmitry Logunov, both 32, were attacked on April 8 as they walked home from the parade.

“We were walking and holding hands and needed to use the bathroom,” Logunov told the South Florida Gay News.

Logunov was called a “faggot” in Spanish and beaten unconscious as he walked out of the public bathroom. When Chalarca intervened, three men attacked him. The four men also attacked a good Samaritan, identified as Helmut Muller, who came to the couple's aid.

The four suspects – Juan C. Lopez, 21; Luis M. Alonso Piovet, 20; Adonis Diaz, 21; and Pablo Reinaldo Romo-Figueroa, 21 – surrendered to the Miami Beach police department through an attorney and were charged with aggravated battery.

On Thursday, Miami-Dade County prosecutors upgraded the charges to a hate crime. The men, who have pleaded not guilty, face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

“These charges send a strong message that #HateCrime will NEVER be tolerated,” Miami Beach Major of Police Paul Acosta said in a tweet.

Dennis Gonzalez, who is representing the suspects, denied that his clients used gay slurs during the incident.

“All four of my clients condemn acts of violence toward anyone whether it's motivated by hate toward the gay community, toward nationality or anything of that nature,” Gonzalez told The Washington Post. “They come out and condemn that. We don't believe there was any type of animus toward the gay community.”

The couple has also criticized the police's response. They said the officers refused to chase the men, who were still visible in the distance. And a female officer told Logunov to “stop the drama” and “shut the fuck up.”

Paramedics who treated the couple at the scene told them to go home. Later, they decided to go to the hospital on their own and discovered that Chalarca had a broken tear duct and might need surgery.