Decorated former army soldier, Lee Wardle, thwarted a violent attack on another gay man by a passenger on a night bus service in March.
Wardle, said he heard a man shouting homophobic abuse down the phone as he travelled on the bus towards Clapham Junction shortly after 4am on Sunday, March 25.
He said he overheard the man ‘having a really loud, obnoxious conversation using a lot of homophobic language’. When he asked him to stop, he tried to hit him before attacking another man, named Adam, on the bus.
Passenger beaten unconscious
The other passenger was ‘repeatedly punched and knocked unconscious,’ the Evening Standard reported Mr Wardle as saying.
Wardle, who was deployed to Afghanistan with the Grenadier Guards on 2009, works as a bartender at Halfway 2 Heaven in Trafalgar Square
Police have released CCTV images of the suspect, described as a black man with a shaved head and goatee beard who was wearing a smart blue suit, black shoes and grey scarf.
Mr Wardle, who also won a medal for his service in Northern Ireland in 1997 and 1999, told the Standard: ‘A guy was sat on the top deck just in front of me having a really loud, obnoxious conversation using a lot of homophobic language.
‘The man was talking about having been to a gay club or bar, but he seemed to have gone there “with the view to pick up women’, he said.
‘He had some sort of altercation with an individual about this.’ He added: ‘I think he said faggots should be killed. It was very distressing language.’
Disturbing footage recorded by a third passenger showed the moment the suspect punched Adam in the side of the head, knocking him to the floor.
‘This man is sought in connection with a homophobic assault on a bus’, Detective Constable Sarah Bunting of the Met’s Road and Transport Policing Command told the Standard.
“If you know who this man is, or may be able to assist us in our investigation, please call 101 and quote CAD 1045/25Mar18.