4 teenagers arrested for beating, robbing flight attendant and girlfriend for not kissing for entertainment
The victims, 28-year-old Melania Geymonat and her American partner Chris, were left bruised and bloodied after an evening out in West Hampstead, North West London May 30
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Four teenage boys have been arrested after they punched and robbed a Ryanair flight attendant and her girlfriend after they refused to kiss on a London bus, according to reports. The victims, 28-year-old Melania Geymonat and her American partner Chris, were left bruised and bloodied after an evening out in West Hampstead, North West London May 30.
Geymonat, a doctor from Uruguay, who is working as a stewardess on a sabbatical in Europe, told the authorities how a gang of men on a bus saw they were a couple and began demanding that they kiss while making crude sexual gestures. The couple was assaulted after they refused to do so.
"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," Geymonat said, according to the Daily Mail. Scotland Yard, on Friday, confirmed it was probing the "homophobic attack" which ended in a robbery as the group stole a phone and a bag during the assault on the N31 bus at 2.30 a.m. Detectives said four teenage males, between the ages of 15 and 18, have been arrested on suspicion of aggravated grievous bodily harm and robbery in relation to the incident.
"They wanted us to kiss so they could watch us. I tried to defuse the situation as I'm not a confrontational person, telling them to please leave us alone as Chris wasn't feeling well," Geymonat said, adding that one of the men spoke Spanish and the others had British accents. Reports stated the incident occurred when the men on the bus, who were believed to be in their 20s or 30s, began throwing things on the bus, and the couple asked them to stop. The women, who suffered facial injuries, were taken to hospital for treatment.
"The next thing I remember was Chris in the middle of them and they were beating her," Geymonat said. "I didn't think about it and went in. I was pulling her back and trying to defend her so they started beating me up. I don't even know if I was knocked unconscious. I felt blood, I was bleeding all over my clothes and all over the floor. We went downstairs and the police were there."
Geymonat, who moved to the U.K. in February this year, told the outlet she had felt safe as a gay woman in London, however, she was stunned by Wednesday's attack. She reportedly shared the picture of the assault to raise awareness of violence against women and LGBTQ+ people. She shared the details of the incident in a Facebook post which has now garnered over 3,700 comments and 9,700 shares.
"We tried to make them go away, but they didn't. They started throwing us coins. The next thing I know is that Chris is in the middle of the bus and they are punching her," She told BBC Radio 4's World At One program. "I immediately went there just by impulse, I didn't think about it, and I tried to pull her out of there. So they started punching me, I don't remember if I was trying to get her out, or I punched somebody – I really don't. So they started beating me until I was bleeding. I was really bleeding. We went downstairs and the police were already there. They took our statements and they called the ambulance and everything," she continued.
"It's a surprise to me. I know that there is a lot of verbal violence all the time, and that's the thing that made me tell the story. Even when these guys came, it was not the first situation when men see two women kissing and they start asking us if we were a show," she added. "I have gay friends who have been in the streets and they have been punched all over. Now, other people have told me a lot of violence is going on, that we were even lucky that we were on a bus, because if we were in the streets, nobody knows what could have happened."
Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the attack, saying: "This was a sickening attack and my thoughts are with the couple affected. Nobody should ever have to hide who they are or who they love and we must work together to eradicate unacceptable violence towards the LGBT community."