Gay Man and Trans Woman Suing Burger King Over Employee ‘Hate Crime Attack’

A gay man and trans woman are suing Burger King after they were allegedly attacked by two of their employees.

Raymond Ortega and Toni Llerena claim they were eating at a Burger King near gay club Twist, on South Beach, Miami, when an employee approached. The employee, said to be a woman, asked them to leave the restaurant because the section they were eating was closing.

The pair protested, saying others weren’t asked to leave. The employee allegedly called them ‘f**king faggots’ and told them to leave again.

The security guard – a man – then called them ‘faggots’ and sprayed Ortega with mace, before beating him, according to the suit. Ortega claims his jaw is damaged and his knee injured, causing him to walk with a limp and pay more than $10,000 in dental bills.

The assault allegedly occurred on 13 October 2018 at around 3.30am, in the Burger King on 1101 Washington Avenue.

Their lawyers, Matthew Ladd and Robert Pelier, say they will report the attack to the Miami-Dade police after Burger King reveals the names of the employees.

They said: ‘These two are going to get justice. We are going to hold everyone accountable.’

Burger King has CCTV of the event and other customers began recording on their phones when the scuffle broke out.

If arrested, the employees could be charged with Florida’s hate crime laws. This makes the penalties harsher, adding ‘with prejudice’ to the charges.

The fast food chain has previously supported LGBTI people during their ‘Proud Whopper’ campaign.