TWO HATE CRIMES were committed in Walthamstow this autumn – possibly by the same man. Detectives have now issued two e-fits of men they wish to trace and speak to in connection with the assaults, which were both driven by homophobia.
•The first attack took place on Sunday, 8th October. A married couple, both men, were walking along High Street, Walthamstow, E17, after a night out in Walthamstow Village. A man came up to them, asking if they were gay and wanting to take a picture of them.
As the couple walked off, the suspect grabbed one of the men and wrestled with him, shouting “you are not welcome”. The two managed to walk away and then report the incident to the police. The victim in the incident did not sustain any significant physical injury.
•The second attack took place on Saturday, 4th November on Hoe Street, E17. Three male friends were walking along Hoe Street when three men came up to them. One of the men shouted homophobic abuse at one of the friends – and then punched him, knocking him to the ground. The attacker then ran away. The victim sustained a black eye and some cuts and bruises but did not go to hospital.
The victims in the two attacks were obviously very shaken, but they were able to give police detailed descriptions of the men who had attacked them. Police have used the descriptions to produce two e-fits – though they believe the two pictures may actually be of one man.
•If you can help police identify the attacker(s), or if you have any other information about these homophobic attacks, contact Waltham Forest police via 101. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers on 0800-555 111, where you can give information anonymously.
•The Metropolitan Police take hate crime seriously: if you report incidents to them, they will be investigated. If you have information about homophobic attacks or other hate crimes, you can also call Crimestopppers.