Lesbian couple beaten, robbed by 4 men on London bus after refusing to kiss
LONDON - A lesbian couple was severely beaten and robbed by four men while they rode a bus in London in late May, and local authorities made arrests in the case Friday.
The attack happened May 30, when the two women boarded the Night Bus after a date in West Hampstead.
Melania Geymonat, 28, who moved to London from Uruguay in February, shared a photo of herself and her American girlfriend Chris covered in blood on Facebook. She recounted what happened to them that night.
In the post, she said that she and Chris were headed to Chris's Camden apartment and decided to sit on the top deck of the bus.
"We must have kissed or something because the guys came after us. I don't remember if they were already there or if they got on after us. There were at least four of them," she said.
The men made lewd and homophobic comments and pushed for the women to kiss so they could "enjoy watching." The group also began describing sexual positions and called the women lesbians.
Geymonat said in an effort to calm the situation and make the men go away, she began making jokes. At one point, Chris pretended to be sick. But nothing worked and the men continued harassing them, even throwing coins at them. Then the encounter turned violent.
"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," Geymonat said. "The next thing I know is I'm being punched. I got dizzy at the sight of my own blood and fell back. I don't remember whether or not I lost consciousness."
During the fight, the men also stole a phone and purse. Geymonat, who recounted her story on Wednesday, said she's still unsure if her nose is broken and hasn't been able to return to work.
In an interview with Metro UK, she said the incident left her shaken because she had felt safe in London. She'd moved to the area while she took a one-year sabbatical from her medical studies, according to the article.
"I'm tired of being taken as a SEXUAL OBJECT, of finding out that these situations are usual, of gay friends who are beaten up JUST BECAUSE," she said. "We have to endure verbal harassment AND CHAUVINIST, MISOGYNISTIC AND HOMOPHOBIC VIOLENCE because when you stand up for yourself s--- like this happens," she said.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted about the beating, calling it a "disgusting, misogynistic attack."
"Hate crimes against the LGBT+ community will not be tolerated in London," he said, in part.
The Metropolitan police department issued an alert, searching for witnesses and more information on the suspects. On Friday, the MPS Roads and Transport Policing Command tweeted that arrests were made and the investigation remained ongoing.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.