COCONUT GROVE, Florida. (TodayNews) — A South Florida man was forced to undergo surgery after being brutally beaten in Coconut Grove, which he says was a hate-motivated attack.
Gregory Breidenbach had a black eye and broken bones, but that’s not all. He continues to experience emotional and physical pain.
“I’m going through a big wave of emotions from everything that happened,” Breidenbach said.
The victim was walking home in Coconut Grove on Saturday just after midnight when he was suddenly attacked by two men. They called him an insulting insult to a gay man, punched and kicked him repeatedly, and left him for dead.
“My brain blocked it all. I know I was conscious enough when the cops found me and said that I was lying in the street and that I had no clothes on.
7News spoke to Breidenbach shortly before his preparation for the operation.
“My whole face needs to be redone, everything is broken, from the nasal cavity, nose and sinus are separated,” he explained. “My orbital bone needs to be restored, my cheekbone is gone and needs to be replaced.”
At the time of the attack, he was walking past Elizabeth Virrick Park, listening to music on headphones and singing along. But he was dragged out and found bloody and bruised about half a mile from Florida Avenue and Douglas Road.
“It makes me think, ‘Is this my fault? Was I too bright? Was I too well dressed? Just a sea of emotions, ”continued Breydenbach. “Then I get angry, they had no right to do this to me, because I’m just a normal person, walking down the street, behaving decently.”
His friends at the Coconut Grove sorority, where he sits on the board, said that if the attackers had known him, they would never have done it.
“He has a heart of gold, is very charitable, positive, looks to the best in everyone and everything,” said Billy Baldwin, president of the Coconut Grove sorority.
Carol White, a board member of the club, was also shocked by the beating.
“He’s one of the warmest, friendliest, he has a southern accent, he’s so welcoming,” she said.
Now they and Breidenbach have learned their lesson the hard way.
“You have to practice your mindfulness,” said White, who is also a self-defense instructor.
Breidenbach shared a warning for those who may be susceptible to an attack like his.
“There is a lot of hate in the world right now,” he said. “Be careful, you can’t even walk in a good area right now, you always have to be aware of what you are doing and what area you are in.”
Miami City Police said they are actively investigating and inspecting the area where Breidenbach was attacked.
Breidenbach’s friends told 7News that after his story went on air, a neighbor in the area provided detectives with CCTV footage.
If you have any information about this incident, please call Miami-Dade Crime Squad at 305-471-TIPS. Remember that you can always remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000.