Police have launched an appeal for information after man was beaten in a "completely unprovoked and vicious" suspected homophobic attack in London.
The victim, a 37-year-old man, was was walking towards Picadilly Ciricus tube station at around 02:15hrs on Tuesday, 3 March when he approached a group of three men and asked if the station was closed.
One of the men then shouted at the victim, using homophobic language, before the three men approached the victim and pushed him into the road, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.
Once the victim was on the floor the group proceeded to assault him.
The victim managed to run across the road towards the Hard Rock Café. The three men followed him and attacked him for a second time. The group then left the scene in the direction of Shaftesbury Avenue.
The victim was taken to hospital and later released. He sustained bruising as a result of the attack.
The investigating officer, Detective Constable John McNally, said: “This was a completely unprovoked and vicious assault on the victim, seemingly motivated by homophobia. Though thankfully not seriously injured, the victim has understandably been left very shaken by the incident.
“The Met takes a zero tolerance approach to homophobic crime; it is absolutely unacceptable that anyone should feel intimidated to go about their daily lives due to their sexual orientation.”
Three men, all 21, have been arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm. All have since been released under investigation.
Anyone with any information the incident is being urged to call 101 quoting CAD 575/03March or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.