Man targeted in homophobic attack in Blackheath

An man said he was attacked at the same spot where a group choked another man unconscious in a homophobic assault.

Steve Tasane, 55, was luckier than the second victim – he got away with minor injuries after he was targeted on March 30 near an area known as Blackheath Dip, on Blackheath Common.

A young man lured him over by asking for a cigarette while the other four gathered behind Mr Tasane.

He said: “He came right up to me, nose to nose. He was about two inches away.

Then I put my hands up to his chest and he said, ‘don’t touch me, I’m 22.’”

Mr Tasane said the others then began punching him in the back. He said: “I went into fight and flight mode.

I managed to fight them off and run away. As I ran away one of them put out a dropkick and knocked me down.”

Mr Tasane escaped with a grazed knee but others were not so lucky in attacks bearing similarities to his own.

Mr Tasane said other incidents near Blackheath Dip, which is a well-known gay cruising spot, led him to believe his attack had homophobic motivations.

Police reported a homophobic assault and robbery in Vanbrugh Park Road next to the common on April 7 where a man, 36, was strangled until unconscious and beaten before his car was stolen.

It prompted Mr Tasane to report his experience to Lewisham police because he noticed similarities between the attacks.

The police said there was insufficient evidence to confirm that the incidents were linked.

Mr Tasane said: “It’s made me be wary of being out alone at night and going to any green space at night.

Blackheath Common is not a space I will be returning to. I feel the right to my local green space has been taken away.”

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