West Midlands Police have arrested a man and are looking for two other suspects in a ‘appalling’ homophobic hate crime in the gay village of Birmingham in which two men were abused and then cut with broken bottles.
The man, believed to be Mosin Mahmood, 31, surrendered after an appeal in which he was named along with two other people. He was arrested on suspicion of injury and remains in detention.
Officers still want to speak to Sohail Khan, 24, and Ishaaq Ayaz, 21, after the attack outside the town’s Missing Bar in the early hours of Sunday August 15.
In what police described as a “scandalous” and “shocking” attack, two men – named only Rob and Patrick, who are in their 30s – were left covered in blood.
The married couple from Oxfordshire were first subjected to homophobic abuse by occupants of an SUV passing by on Bromsgrove Street near the city center.
They were then attacked with bottles, both suffering from cuts and Patrick was left unconscious.
West Midlands Police have named and released photographs of three men after extensive investigations, including analysis of CCTV footage and recording of several witness statements.
Sgt Marc Petford said on Sunday, “We had a good response to our call and I am grateful to the people who shared it far and wide. It was a brutal attack and we must find those responsible.
“A man was arrested as a result of our call and I encourage the other two to do the same and to come talk to us as well.”
On Saturday he said: “This was a shocking homophobic attack on two men enjoying a night out in our town. It is scandalous and we are determined to bring those responsible to justice. “
During the attack, Patrick had his phone ripped off by one of the three men as he attempted to film the abuse, and one of their friends was dragged by the car as she was trying to retrieve it.
The woman, in her twenties, injured her foot.
Rob then ran after the car to challenge the assailants before they stopped at a red light, got out of the car, and started attacking him with bottles.
Patrick said he ran to help but was knocked out by one of the men.
Speaking to the BBC, Rob said: “It’s just shocking that this is happening in 2021 in the UK. Especially in the gay village – it should be a safe place to be whoever you want and not to have to tolerate people who shout homophobic remarks at you. ”
Rob was quoted in the Birmingham Mail as saying: “They had nothing to do in the gay village at 4 am, other than trying to fight with gays.
“We had come from Oxfordshire for a friend’s birthday party that evening. It was a lovely evening and there had been some guys sitting in front of the bar in an SUV.
“We tried to be nice to them, I said, ‘It’s your birthday?’ or something, and they started yelling at us and calling us homophobic names.
Police urge anyone with information on the whereabouts of the men to make contact, citing newspaper 552 for August 15.