Two gay men were brutally assaulted by a group of men shouting homophobic slurs outside a nightclub in England over the weekend. And despite at least five calls to Essex Police immediately after the attack, the couple did not receive a response from authorities until the next day.
Dan Wilson said Echo News he and his boyfriend Rob Morris were on their way home early Sunday morning after leaving Colors nightclub in Basildon when they were attacked by the group of men. The couple were punched, kicked and stomped not far from their apartment.
“It was terrifying,” Wilson said. “We didn’t know if they had weapons.
Wilson said Morris was “dressed in drag at the time” and upon seeing the men, the couple “immediately knew they were coming straight for us.”
He went on to say that both men were “covered with cuts and bruises” and that he suffered from cracked ribs.
“Rob did worse,” Morris continued. “We had our heads stamped by them.”
Luckily for the couple, a good Samaritan couple stepped in to stop the assault.
“It was horrible,” Morris said. “We are very grateful to the couple who stepped in to help. They kept it from getting worse.
Morris’s father, Dave, described the assault as “horrific” and upsetting.
“These people must be named and humiliated. I’m completely lost for words about what happened, ”he said of his son’s attackers. “They were shouting homophobic songs while beating my son, it’s disgusting. They just came towards them from nowhere. The police must catch them and make sure [they are] punished. “
Essex Police released a statement saying they are investigating the incident and addressing the delay in responding by contacting the victims.
“We know how distressing these incidents are and we try to answer as many calls as possible with officers attending as many incidents as possible,” said an Essex Police spokesperson. “However, a number of factors could impact our ability to respond, including the number of incidents occurring in the district or county that require a high level resource. There may also be a large number of emergency calls that agents answer. At the time this incident was reported to us, all of our available officers were deployed elsewhere. “
The assaults continue a disturbing pattern of violence targeting the LGBTQA + community. In August, a group of around 10 teenagers brutally attacked two gay men in an East Hertsfordshire car park, leaving one man unconscious and the two with multiple facial fractures and other serious injuries.
In another incident, a 25-year-old Sussex man was sent to jail for five years earlier in August following his conviction for a brutal homophobic assault that left a gay man unconscious on the streets.
Morris and Wilson are recovering at home, but the couple remain distraught by the attack.
“That sort of thing just shouldn’t be happening,” Morris said. “Basildon is supposed to promote the LGBT community.”
RELATED | Gay couple on vacation brutally attacked as crowd watched and mocked