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Hate crime? Customers claim 7-Eleven clerk attacked them in Orlando

Group fears they were attacked because they are gay

ORLANDO, Fla. – A group of customers claims a cashier at a downtown Orlando convenience store physically attacked them, giving one of them a concussion and a black eye.

They said the incident happened one week ago on Sept. 26 at the 7-Eleven, 7 East Pine St.

They said some in the group were same-sex couples holding hands, and they said the cashier didn't like it and started threatening them.

"He said when he went outside he was going to beat his gay a--," said John Richards, who was one of the customers that night.

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Cellphone video that is now police evidence caught the moment the cashier came from behind the counter. In the video, the cashier is heard telling the group to leave the store, and he grabs some of the other cellphones that are recording video.

Audio on another cellphone captured what the customers claim happened next.

"What you throw homeboy? I'll knock your gay a-- out," someone was heard yelling.

The audio recorded what sounded like a fight.

Richards said the man that was beaten was his friend, Ivan Morales.

"He basically got Ivan on the ground and was on top of him," he said.

"He just keeps hitting him repeatedly on the head," said his friend, Sebastian Franco.

"I thought he was going to be dead," said friend Alina Hazelitt.

"All I remember is blacking out," Morales said.

Morales said he suffered a black eye, a concussion and severe headaches.

A spokesperson for 7-Eleven told News 6 the cashier has been fired by the franchisee.

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"Every customer is important and deserves to be treated with respect," the unnamed spokesperson said.

That's not enough for Morales or his friends, though, who said they want the cashier prosecuted.

"It could have been my life," Morales said. "I could have died right there."

Morales and his friends filed reports with the Orlando Police Department, but they said they have some issues with the way the officers handled the case that night.

An Orlando police spokesman told News 6 there is no current investigation into their officers, but they said their detectives are trying to get to the bottom of what happened at the store.


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