A lesbian couple in South Austin, Chicago, have been attacked in what police are treating as a hate crime, by as many as ten men, before police intervened.

The two women held onto each other as they were pinned against a car, kicked, punched and taunted for being gay. The men also stole their phones and cash.

“It was punches, kicks, everything being thrown at us,” said one of the women, 23. “We just held each other until somebody said, ‘Here come the police.’ ”

One man has been charged with two counts of felony hate crime and two counts of felony robbery for the incident, which police are treating as a hate crime, but the others remain on the loose.

The attack occurred on Saturday evening in South Austin, reports the Chicago Tribune.

The pair were followed by a man one of them knew from the neighbourhood, who swore at them, before he was joined by other men, who attacked the women, before fleeing when the police arrived.

“I didn’t think we were going to make it out,” one of the women said, noting that nobody came to help them.

“It really shouldn’t matter who I like or who I love,” she said. “I should be able to walk the streets wherever I want to go and talk to whoever I want to talk to.”

The woman who lived in the neighbourhood has now left.