Two men were sprayed with a corrosive substance outside a McDonald’s restaurant in London in an anti-gay attack.
Police have put out an appeal for help over the incident outside McDonald’s in Brixton, which took place in the early hours of Saturday, January 19.
The two 22-year-old victims required treatment from paramedics after the incident, which took place at around 4am outside the McDonald’s branch.
“Both the attack and the homophobic motivation of this assault are abhorrent.”
—Lambeth detective constable Amy Cross
According to London’s Metropolitan Police, the “homophobic corrosive substance assault” saw an unknown substance sprayed in the face of the two men.
Police described the incident as a “hate crime attack” and said the substance sprayed is believed have been pepper spray, which is not legal in the UK.
Officers believe that two other men who have not come forward may have been victims of a similar assault at a nearby KFC on the same night.
Lambeth detective constable Amy Cross said: “This was a completely unprovoked and targeted assault on at least two members of the public, with a possible further two victims not yet in contact with police.
“Both the attack and the homophobic motivation of this assault are abhorrent and I appeal to anyone with any information that could assist the investigation to come forward.”
The Met appeal added: “Anyone with information is asked to contact Lambeth CID by dialling 101 and quoting reference CAD 1206/19JAN19, Tweet @MetCC or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
London takes tough stance on homophobic hate crime
London has recently seen a renewed focus on tackling hate crime, with a large investment in an online hate crime hub.
Speaking to PinkNews previously, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “Let me be clear, hate crime will not be tolerated anywhere in London. In London, you are free to be whoever you are happy, and safe.
“London is a warm, inclusive and welcoming place, and I’m grateful for all of your support over the last 16 months, not for me, but for all of us.
“London is open to all people regardless of race, gender and sexuality and open to love.”