Police investigating a homophobic attack on two men in London have released a CCTV image of a man they want to identify.
The incident happened on Sunday (13 August) at 10.15pm where two victims, aged in their 20s and 30s, were attacked by a man with a knife while standing outside the Two Brewers – a popular LGBTQ+ bar in Clapham, south London.
The image of the man was taken outside the venue at the time of the attack and shows an individual in a grey hoodie, what appears to be a Nike t-shirt and wearing a dark face covering.
“I am asking the public to look at this image and see if they recognise this individual – it is vital that we identify and locate him as soon as possible,” detective chief inspector Jivan Saib of the Central South Command Unit, which is leading the investigation, said.
Adding: “Officers have already collated witness accounts and scoured CCTV for evidence and this work remains ongoing.
“I appreciate those who have come forward and spoken to police but would ask that if you were in the area and saw these events unfold, but have yet to contact us, then please do so.”
Following the Sunday evening stabbing, the attacker fled the scene.
No arrests have yet been made by the Metropolitan Police and the force has confirmed the incident is being treated as a homophobic attack.
Both men were then taken to hospital and subsequently discharged, with one victim taking to Instagram on Monday (15 August) to write about the incident and share a photo of his bandaged head.
PC Hayley Jones who is the dedicated LGBT+ community liaison officer (CLO) for Lambeth and Southwark said in a statement on the Met’s website: “We understand some people from the LGBT+ community may not have the confidence to speak to police; my role was introduced to provide a dedicated LGBT+ point of contact to support the community and advise on investigations where homophobia and transphobia is a motive.
“You can contact me directly for advice and support, or to assist this investigation.”
The one victim, whose Instagram handle is @aniello110, wrote on Monday: “I’ve not been left feeling sad, nor angry, or confused… I’ve just been left so many questions… to think what can lead to changing a person’s mind that much that they can feel it’s OK to attack anyone… whatever their reasons… and how we change that…”
Adding that despite the vile attack he has never felt “prouder, happier, or more comforted” by the community he is lucky enough to have as his “LGBTQ+ family”.
David Robson, a local Labour councillor, praised the actions of the venue’s staff following the attack.
Robson told PinkNews that he was among the crowd at The Two Brewers when the incident occurred and described staff as “exemplary in protecting both the victims and anybody else”.
“Full credit to The Two Brewers security team for keeping the ship running, for not creating any hysteria or panic, and for the response,” the councillor added.
If you have any information relating to the identity of the person in the image contact police on 101 or tweet @MetCC and quote CAD 7198/13Aug. You can also provide information anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
PC Hayley Jones can be contacted on 07825101104 or Hayley.Jones@met.police.uk.