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Man Arrested After Threatening to Stab Gay People After Brighton Pride

Brighton Pride

A train ride back from Brighton and Hove Pride and a Britney Spears performance became a nightmare.

A man was arrested in England for threatening to stab gay people.

Journalist Benjamin Butterworth told Pink News that the man initially boarded his train early Sunday morning on a stop between the cities of Brighton and London.

The car was full of attendees of Brighton and Hove Pride, which bills itself as the largest Pride celebration in the United Kingdom. Over 300,000 had turned out this year for the parade and a performance from Britney Spears.

Any perception of queer acceptance was shattered, however, when the man began hurling antigay slurs upon seeing the crowd onboard, according to Butterworth.

"He yelled that gay people are pedophiles, ungodly, freaks, failures to their parents," recounted Butterworth, who captured a portion of the tirade in a video posted to Twitter. The mans' language then escalated to threats of violence.

The man threatened to pull out a knife and "stab every gay person on the train," Butterworth continued. "He said gay people deserve to be killed and that he would stab us. And was constantly shouting 'batty man' and 'puff' in the faces of people."

Butterworth, who was "scared, almost crying" during the ordeal, said the outburst was unprovoked, and that the train car had been largely silent before the man entered. He said he himself had been asleep until the yelling began.

In a statement to Pink News, the British Transport Police said it received a phone call reporting "homophobic abuse towards passengers" at around 5:53 a.m. Authorities then arrested the suspect, 28, at a stop before London, and charged him with a "public order offense," which under British law can include inciting rioting; fear or provocation of violence; and harassment, alarm, or distress.

"Officers are making inquiries to establish the full circumstances of the incident," a spokesperson said.

Butterworth said the incident was a reminder for the necessity of Pride. "When you can't even get the train home from celebrating Pride without being told you deserve to be killed for being gay, there's a problem," he said.

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