The Metropolitan Police have arrested five men after two women were assaulted and robbed in a homophobic attack on a London bus.
Melania Geymonat and her girlfriend, Chris, were travelling on the top deck of a night bus to Camden, north London on May 30, when a group of four men started to make ‘lewd and homophobic comments’ to them, police say.
The women were then attacked and punched several times before the assailants ran off the bus, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.
Police said four males aged between 15-18 have been arrested on suspicion of robbery and aggravated GBH (hate crime). They have been taken to separate London police stations for questioning.
Geymonat described the assault as “chauvinist, misogynistic and homophobic violence” in a detailed Facebook post in English and Spanish.
“We must have kissed or something because these guys came after us,” she said.
“They started behaving like hooligans, demanding that we kissed so they could enjoy watching, calling us ‘lesbians’ and describing sexual positions.
“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.”
She describes how after her girlfriend began fighting the men and was left with her face bleeding.
“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.”
Both women suffered facial injuries and were taken to hospital for treatment. They have since been discharged.
The attackers also stole a phone and bag from the women.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan condemned the incident on Twitter, describing it as a "disgusting, misogynistic attack".
“Hate crimes against the LGBT+ community will not be tolerated in London.”
In her social media post, Geymonat said she was tired of finding out about gay friends being beaten up “just because”.
"We have to endure verbal harassment and chauvinist, misogynistic and homophobic violence," she said.
Detective Superintendent Andy Cox said: “This was a disgusting attack on two women who appear to have been picked out and targeted by a group of youths."
“CCTV footage from the attack is being reviewed by detectives. We continue to appeal for information from the public, particularly those who were present on the bus before or after the attack to come forward and tell police what they saw.
“A number of active enquiries are in hand to trace other individuals suspected to have been involved in the incident. Lots of people will understandably be outraged by this attack. Our efforts to trace all the suspects involved and bring them in for questioning will be relentless.