A man has been arrested after a video of him emerged on a train shouting homophobic slurs and threatening commuters for being gay.
The incident occurred after Brighton Pride as festival goers made their way home on a train bound for London.
Freelance journalist Benjamin Butterworth partially captured the incident on video and posted it on Twitter. He wrote:
On train back from @PrideBerighton, a man threatened to pull a knife on me and others and stab us for being gay. He called us peadophiles [sic] and dirty and shouted gay people need to all be killed. The video is a fraction of what he said, as was too scared & shaken to film.
Butterworth told indy100 that the unnamed man got on the train between Brighton and London, and he ‘started shouting homophobic abuse’.
I was basically asleep. This guy got on and started shouting ‘faggot’ and ‘puff’ and ‘pervert’.
It was all unprovoked, people weren’t awake.
The incident, Butterworth said, lasted approximately half an hour.
He said he had a knife and he was going to stab every gay person on the train. He said ‘gay people deserve to be rounded up and killed’ and told someone ‘if I stab you, it’s self-defence.’
Eventually, the emergency alarm was pulled, and two stations later he was removed from the train in handcuffs.
If that happened to vulnerable people it could do serious damage. [The incident] happened in two of the most liberal and diverse places in the country and still this man felt confident.
This can happen anywhere in the country.
British Transport Police released a statement regarding the incident:
We are aware of a video on social media which appears to show a man making homophobic comments towards passengers on a train.
We were called at 5:53 on Sunday following reports of homophobic abuse towards passengers. Officers met the train and a 28-year-old man was arrested for a public order offence.
The man in question has been released under investigation as officers review the footage to establish the ‘full circumstances’ of the incident.
Despite the frightening experience, Butterworth thought the reactions to his post were ‘comforting’.
Homophobia can affect straight people too. He just made an assumption based on how people looked.
‘There was a great sense of solidarity [on the train],’ he added.