Two hearing-impaired men are recovering after, according to police, their means of communication was mistaken for gang signs.
Thirty-one-year-old Alfred Stewart of Miramar went to the lounge to celebrate a friend’s birthday. For Stewart, who is deaf and mute, sign language is his only mode of communication. “Only sign language. That’s the only way all of them, they do sign language,” said Stewart’s mother, Brenda Stewart.
According to Hallandale Beach Police, 45-year-old Barbara Lee confronted Stewart and his friends, because she thought they were throwing gang signs at her.
“The suspect obtained two other suspects, they came inside the bar and started fighting with our hearing-impaired victims,” said Hallandale Beach Police Officer Sonia Quinones.
Brenda Stewart, who was injured trying to help the victims: “He got stabbed, and the other one was cut up…Another one of his friends was talking to the other guy, must have been trying to let the other guy know that it was just talk, and he tried to stop the other people from fighting, and the guy came from behind him and stabbed him, so he doesn’t know who it was that stabbed him or nothing. Stabbed him in his back.”