Five men aged between 15-18 who were arrested on suspicion of robbery and assault after a Ryanair flight attendant and her girlfriend were attacked on a London night bus have been bailed by police. Melania Geymonat, 28, who is originally from Uruguay and works as cabin crew for Ryanair was travelling on a night bus with her girlfriend, Chris when they were both subjected to what appears to be a homophobic attack.
The pair were travelling on the upper deck of a night bus in Camden, North London on Thursday 30th May when the five men boarded and started taunting them. The men allegedly demanded Melania and Chris start kissing each other for their enjoyment – when they refused, the gang set upon them, throwing punches at the two women.
A photo of Melania and Chris taken moments after the attack and showing them bleeding from facial wounds and looking visibly shocked has since gone viral in an attack that has shocked but not surprised many LGBTQ advocates.
“They started behaving like hooligans, demanding that we kissed so they could enjoy watching, calling us lesbians and describing sexual positions” recalls Melania.
“I don’t know yet if my nose is broken and I haven’t been able to go back to work, but what upsets me the most is that violence has become a common thing.”
“I’m tired of being seen as a sexual object, of finding out that these situations are usual, of gay friends who were beaten up just because.”
The five suspects were arrested on suspicion of robbery and aggravated grievous bodily harm. They have been bailed pending further enquiries and police are still appealing for any witnesses or anyone else with information about the incident to come forward with information.
It’s believed that the bus would have been covered by multiple surveillance cameras meaning that there might already be good evidence of the assault.
Colleagues of Melania at Ryanair have set up a Go Fund Me page for the pair after this vicious assault. The fund can be found here.
The attack took place on the eve of Gay Pride month which is celebrated throughout the month of June. The airline industry in many Western countries has been very keen to celebrate and promote diversity and in particular LGBTQ rights in recent years. A number of airlines are celebrating the month with high-profile sponsorships and other public events.