A man who intervened in a homophobic attack on the Tube on New Year’s Eve has been praised on social media after filming the incident, prompting police to take action.
Ryan Mahon was travelling home on the underground at 5am on 1 January when he witnessed a man shouting homophobic abuse at a fellow passenger and decided to intervene as well as filming the attack and sharing it on Facebook.
He told The Independent: “I think alcohol made me take action more than anything. I just didn't think it was right; people shouldn't have to sit back and take that kind of abuse. Of course I'm pleased that I shared it and took action; the support had been absolutely overwhelming.
“I spoke to the victim after and she was amazing and said she actually experiences that kind of abuse a lot. First time in five years of coming out I've experienced it so was just a strange experience.”
Mr Mahon, 25, from Fulham, shared the video to his Facebook page along with a comment about what had happened – prompting more than 9,000 views on social media.
He wrote on Facebook: “The guy in the video… seems to think that being gay is sick and wrong. I think that discrimination, bigotry and general nastiness is sick and wrong.
“He seems to think that gay people have a negative influence on his child. I think having a father who thinks it's acceptable to publicly shame others is far more of a negative influence.”
Although Mr Mahon said he was pleased that he took action, he said he had been disappointed that none of the other passengers on the train intervened.
He continued: “The most disappointing thing of all, however, was that on an entire Tube full of witnesses to what was happening I was the only one who spoke out.
“I understand it was 5am on New Year’s and most people just wanted their bed or a toilet to be sick in but all I know is that if anyone was on the receiving end of such disgusting behaviour they would want somebody to stand up for them.”
After Mr Mahon’s video was shared on Facebook and Twitter, British Transport Police (BTP) confirmed they were looking into the incident.
A BTP spokesman said: “We have been made aware of a video on social media which appears to show a man making homophobic comments and threats of violence towards passengers on a London Tube train.
“Officers are viewing the footage and making enquiries to establish the full circumstances of the incident and when and where it took place.
“This is completely unacceptable behaviour and we are asking anyone who recognises the man involved to contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40, or text 61016, quoting reference 146 of 2/1/2016.”
Mr Mahon added: “Luckily, having an amazingly open family, incredible friends and being born and raised in such a multi-cultural city as London this is the first time in the five years since I came out that I've had to deal face-to-face with such homophobic behaviour.
“However, it's sickening to think that this kind of abuse still happens in today's society when there is no place nor any need for it.”