Police in London, U.K., have made four arrests after two women were assaulted on a public bus.
The couple was on the upper level of a double-decker bus last Thursday when police say four men approached them and started making lewd, homophobic comments.
Police have described the men as between ages 15 and 18. They have been taken to separate London police stations for questioning.
“The women were then attacked and punched several times before the men ran off the bus. A phone and bag were stolen during the assault,” a statement from police reads.
Police didn’t specify how many arrests were made, and said the investigation was ongoing.
The victims identified themselves on Facebook as Melania Geymonat and her girlfriend Chris. In a public post, Melania said she and her girlfriend were on a date and took the night bus home when the group of men approached them.
“They started behaving like hooligans, demanding that we kissed so they could enjoy watching, calling us ‘lesbians’ and describing sexual positions,” she wrote.
She said she attempted to make jokes to diffuse the situation, and Chris pretended to be sick.
“But they kept on harassing us, throwing us coins and becoming more enthusiastic about it,” she said.
“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.”
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She said she was also punched and was bleeding. Photos of the aftermath show both women with blood on their faces.
“I don’t know yet if my nose is broken, and I haven’t been able to go back to work, but what upsets me the most is that violence has become a common thing,” she wrote.
In a statement released Friday afternoon, Detective Superintendent Andy Cox called the attack “disgusting.”
“This was a disgusting attack on two women who appear to have been picked out and targeted by a group of youths. 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.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan called the incident a “disgusting, misogynistic attack.”
“Hate crimes against the LGBT+ community will not be tolerated in London,” he wrote on Twitter.
Other U.K. politicians also weighed in. Minister for Women’s Equalities Penny Mordaunt said she was “appalled” to see an incident like this.
“There’s no place for this kind of vile behaviour in our society,” she wrote on Twitter.
June is Pride Month, meant to celebrate the LGTBQ2 community, as well as honour the trials and discrimination it has had to face.
Geymonat said she wants people to reflect on what Pride month really means — and recognize that there is still much to be done for LGBTQ2 rights.
“I just hope that in June, Pride Month, stuff like this can be spoken out loudly so they stop happening!” she wrote.