Police are investigating a homophobic attack in which two men were assaulted while waiting for a bus on Brixton Road.
Michael Smith and his boyfriend Nat Asabere were both attacked at approximately 11pm last Saturday (19 August). This happened whilst returning from a day out at UK Black Pride.
They were approached by an unknown man who assaulted them.
Both men, one in his 30s and one in his 40s, were taken to hospital for treatment after the incident. They have both since been discharged.
“I’m having such a rollercoaster of emotions at the moment”
Speaking to the BBC, Nat recalled being punched in the back of the head, while Michael said he was punched in the face “three or four times”.
The pair ran onto the Brixton bus, which was where they realised the extent of Michael’s injuries.
Michael told the BBC: “That’s where I looked down, and I just saw blood all over my T-shirt, and I was thinking ‘where’s this blood coming from?’.
“I could taste it in my mouth and I could see it on my hands, and when my tongue went over my lip I could just feel this massive split in my lip.”
“When someone asks me how I am in person, a lump gets my throat “
He added to the broadcaster that he is struggling to process what happened and gets very emotional when speaking about the attack.
“I’m having such a rollercoaster of emotions at the moment. When it’s online and someone sends me a message, I’m able to articulate how I’m feeling.
“But when someone asks me how I am in person, a lump gets my throat and that’s when I feel like I’m about to break down. It’s taken a lot out of me,” he shared.
While the investigation is ongoing, at this stage the incident is being treated as a homophobic attack. No arrests have currently been made.
Police say both Michael and Nat are being supported by a dedicated LGBT+ Community Liaison Officer. Their role is to support individuals who have been involved in hate crimes towards the LGBT+ community.
Any witnesses or anyone with information about the attack are asked to call 101 and quote reference number 8673/22AUG.
The incident in Brixton comes just days after another homophobic attack took place in south London. Two men were stabbed outside the Two Brewers in Clapham High Street earlier this month.
The pair were approached by a man who attacked them with a knife before fleeing the scene, and both were taken to hospital.
“Enhanced security measures” have also been put in place, according to the Clapham bar’s Instagram stories.