(TMU) — Metropolitan police in London have arrested four teenagers involved in a reprehensible attack on two women who were left bloodied and hospitalized after being taunted for their sexuality.
The four males, aged between 15 and 18, are being questioned on suspicion of robbery and aggravated grievous bodily harm, or severe assault, according to a statement by the Met police.
Melania Geymonat, a 28-year-old Ryanair stewardess from Uruguay, shared a photo on Facebook of herself and her girlfriend, Chris, after they were assaulted by a group of men who began shouting at them and throwing coins.
The couple had just gone on a date in Camden and were returning home early on May 30th when the four men began demanding that they kiss each other in front of them.
Investigation update:- Arrests have now been made and the investigation remains ongoing. If you have any information about this attack please report it to @metpoliceuk on 101 or via Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. https://t.co/3zJVod1tP8
— Roads&Transport MPS (@MPSRTPC) June 7, 2019
When the two refused to share an intimate moment for the entertainment of the “hooligans,” the young men and teens beat them, leaving them with serious facial injuries, before also stealing their belongings.
Geymonat recounted the incident to in a Facebook post:
“They started behaving like hooligans, demanding that we kissed so they could enjoy watching, calling us ‘lesbians’ and describing sexual positions.
“It was only them and us there. In an attempt to calm things down, I started making jokes. I thought this might make them go away. Chris even pretended she was sick, but they kept on harassing us, throwing us coins and becoming more enthusiastic about it. The next thing I know is that Chris is in the middle of the bus fighting with them.
“On an impulse, I went over there only to find her face bleeding and three of them beating her up. The next thing I know is I’m being punched. I got dizzy at the sight of my blood and fell back. I don’t remember whether or not I lost consciousness. Suddenly the bus had stopped, the police were there and I was bleeding all over.
“Our stuff was stolen as well. I don’t know yet if my nose is broken”.
Geymonat has said that she has been unable to return to work since the incident occurred.
Hate crimes on the mass transportation network of the U.K. have doubled over the past five years according to British Transport Police data, The Independent has reported.
Siwan Hayward, the director of compliance and policing at the Transport for London government agency, has denounced the incident. In a statement, the official said:
“Homophobic behavior and abuse is a hate crime and won’t be tolerated on our network. All of our customers have the right to travel without fear of verbal or physical assault and we are working with the police to stamp out this behavior on our transport network.”
Other figures from across the British political landscape ranging from Prime Minister Theresa May to London Mayor Sadiq Khan have likewise strongly condemned the vicious anti-LGBTQ assault.
Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn described the attack as “absolutely shocking,” explaining:
“We must not, and will not, accept this homophobic and misogynist violence in our society. Solidarity to Melania and Chris, and to all in the LGBT+ community for everything they endure for simply being who they are.”
Commentator, writer, and comedian Stephen Fry, who is himself gay, tweeted:
“Maybe those who have the original, witty and clever idea of saying ‘Why can’t we have a STRAIGHT Pride month?’ might ask themselves how many times they’ve been shamed, bullied, mocked, stigmatized, isolated, beaten, terrorized, assaulted for being straight.”
Horrified to see this homophobic attack against two women simply trying to enjoy a night out in West Hampstead. There can be no excuses, no space, for such obscene behaviour. My full solidarity is with these women and the UK's LGBT community.https://t.co/ViajxDdERd
— Tulip Siddiq (@TulipSiddiq) June 7, 2019
Featured image credit: Melania Geymonat