A group of men attacked a gay couple early Sunday morning as the couple left a club, leaving them with serious injuries.
The assault happened in Basildon, Essex, U.K. The couple, Dan Wilson and Rob Morris, were leaving the nightclub Colors when the men jumped them, according to the local newspaper Echo.
The couple had gone for a night out and Morris was in drag. The couple said the men hurled homophobic slurs at them while kicking, punching, and stomping on them.
Police are investigating the attack.
“It was terrifying, we didn’t know if they had any weapons,” Wilson told Echo. “Rob had been dressed in drag at the time. We knew straight away they were coming straight for us.”
Wilson added that they both are covered in bruises. He said the assailants cracked his ribs, and one of them stomped on Morris's head.
The men were discharged from the hospital later on Sunday.
“It was horrible. We’re so grateful for the couple who stepped in to help. They prevented it getting any worse,” Wilson said. “This kind of thing just shouldn’t be happening. Basildon is meant to be promoting the LGBT community.”
The couple said that while they called for the police, the authorities never arrived. It wasn’t until Monday that investigators made first contact with them.
“These people need to be named and shamed. I’m completely lost for words at what happened,” Wilson’s father, Dave Wilson, told the paper. “They were shouting homophobic chants while beating up my son, it’s disgusting.”
The attack is only the latest violence against LGBTQ+ people in the U.K. In the last six years, homophobic hate crimes have increased by 210 percent and transphobic hate crimes have increased by 332 percent, according to numbers reported by Vice World News.