London police arrested four male teenagers in connection with a violent, homophobic attack on two queer women.
On 30 May, Melania Geymonat was riding the N31 bus from West Hampstead with her girlfriend, Chris. The group of teenagers began harassing the couple, which ended with them being left bloodied and attacked.
According to a Facebook post Geymonat wrote, the teens started asking them to kiss and describing sexual positions.
Metropolitan Police said they arrested the teens, aged 15 to 18, on Friday (7 June). They added they took the teens to separate London stations for questionings. The teens are being looked at for robbery and grievous bodily harm.
After the attack, the teens allegedly stole a bag and phone before fleeing the scene.
‘This was a disgusting attack on two women who appear to have been picked out and targeted by a group of youths,’ said Detective Andy Cox.
‘The suspects have made a number of homophobic comments towards the couple before throwing coins at them. When the women tried to reason with the group, the attack escalated to an assault.’
Cox added detectives are reviewing CCTV footage and asking any potential witnesses to come forward.
‘Lots of people will understandably be outraged by this attack,’ he continued. ‘Our efforts to trace all the suspects involved and bring them in for questioning will be relentless.
‘Attacks of this nature on London buses are rare. I would like to reassure those heading out over the weekend that extra uniformed and plain clothes Safer Transport officers will be out on patrol working to keep them safe and prevent crime.’
‘Tired of being taken as a sexual object’
Geymonat detailed what happened on Facebook.
She said she tried joking with the boys, her girlfriend Chris pretended she was sick, but the boys continued harassing them.
‘The next thing I know is that Chris is in the middle of the bus fighting with them,’ she wrote. ‘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.’
Geymonat’s ends her post with an impassioned diatribe against the harassment and violence women face.
‘What upsets me the most is that VIOLENCE HAS BECOME A COMMON THING, that sometimes it’s necessary to see a woman bleeding after having been punched to feel some kind of impact,’ she wrote.
‘I’m tired of being taken as a SEXUAL OBJECT, of finding out that these situations are usual, of gay friends who were beaten up JUST BECAUSE. We have to endure verbal harassment AND CHAUVINIST, MISOGYNISTIC AND HOMOPHOBIC VIOLENCE because when you stand up for yourself shit like this happens.’