Suspect Arrested in London Anti-Gay ’Blinding’ Attack
London police arrested a man Thursday in connection to an anti-gay attack that occurred last weekend, which almost left a gay man nearly blind, Gay Star News reports.
The 31-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault near the popular nightclub Lightbox, located in Vauxhall, a section of Central London popular with the LGBT community. Authorities questioned him at a south London police station Thursday.
The 23-year-old victim says a man sprayed him and his friend with chemicals after two women outside the club they were talking with realized the victims were gay, which prompted the women to yell and shout anti-gay slurs.
The chemicals burned the victim’s cornea and severely damaged his vision. His 21-year-old friend had the chemicals sprayed in his mouth, which caused his tongue to swell. A third man was also reportedly attacked early Sunday morning.
"As we walked away I heard a man shout ’Oi! Come here.’ At first I thought it was the doorman saying he’d changed his mind and we could go in," the victim told the U.K. newspaper the London Evening Standard. "Then I saw this white guy with a beard, and his hand coming up with a water bottle that he squirted really hard into my face. It went right in my eyes and it sprayed into my friend’s mouth."
The victim added: "My face was burning so much, I thought it was acid. I thought I would never see again and my face was melting. He poured every last drop onto us and then turned around and walked away, like it was mission accomplished. The chemical burnt the cornea in my left eye and the vision hasn’t cleared since. The doctors said it should hopefully return, but there is no guarantee."
The women came forward to speak to police but were not arrested.