One of the two men injured in the attack outside the Two Brewers bar spoke out hours afterwards as Metropolitan Police launch an ‘urgent investigation’ into the homophobic stabbing
One of two men attacked in what police said was a homophobic knife attack at a South London nightclub has spoken out just hours after it happened.
Victim Aniello described feeling “so lucky” after being overwhelmed with support in the aftermath of Sunday night’s attack. It happened outside the Two Brewers bar on Clapham’s High Street at around 10.15pm.
Metropolitan Police has confirmed it is treating the attack as a hate crime with detectives searching for the suspect. Both men, aged in their 20s and 30s, were injured in the attack and treated in hospital but have since been discharged.
Thanking loved ones for support, Aniello posted a statement of gratitude on social media, saying the attack had left him confused as to how a person “can feel it’s ok to attack anyone”. He said: “Didn’t know if I should say anything … but I suppose it feels right to”.
He continued: “I’ve not been left feeling sad, nor angry, or confused … I’ve just been left so many questions [sic] … to think what can lead to changing a persons mind [sic] they can feel it’s ok to attack anyone … whatever their reasons … and how we change that”. Aniello said he was proud to be surrounded by such a supportive community.
He said: “What today has strengthened in me … more than ever before is that I could never, and have never be [sic] prouder, happier or more comforted, by the community I am lucky enough to have as my LGBTQ+ family!! I would NEVER change it for the world … I am so lucky to have all my family and friends who have reached out just to check on me today. Love you all – all of you x”.
The Two Brewers pub describes itself as a “gay-friendly cabaret bar and weekend dance club”. Sunday night’s attack happened on the street outside as a drag event was planned inside. The drag artist, Mary Mac, has also paid tribute to bar staff who were “incredible in dealing with this and keeping us inside the venue safe”.
“It’s shocking and disgusting that in 2023 this is becoming frighteningly more frequent,” they added. The statement was backed by fellow drag performer and UK Drag Race contestant Baga Chipz, who was supposed to be there on the night.
The performer, whose real name is Leo Loren, told Channel 5 News: “I was supposed to be there when it happened, I do their Sundays all the time. I’m angry, but I’m also shocked because these are our safe spaces, this is where LGBTQ+ people go to have fun, have a drink, let their hair down and you can’t even be safe.”
The Metropolitan Police were called to reports of a stabbing on Clapham High Street, south London, shortly after 10pm on Sunday. It was reported that the attacker fled the scene. No arrests have been made yet.
Detective Inspector Gary Castle said: “We are acutely aware of the shock this attack will cause members of the LGBT+ community and want to reassure people that an urgent investigation is ongoing to locate the person responsible. We recently announced the reinstatement of LGBT+ community liaison officers for each of our 12 basic command units in London to support and advise on investigations where homophobia is a motive, and to ensure the community has a dedicated point of contact to address any concerns they may have.”
A Two Brewers spokesperson said the venue was “fully supporting” the police with their investigation, adding: “We would like to reassure the LGBTQIA+ community that the safety and security of our guests remains our number one priority. Our CCTV has been handed over to the police and enhanced security measures have now been put in place.”