A teenager was strangled and forced to apologise for being gay during a homophobic hate crime assault in London, police have said.
British Transport Police (BTP) have released images of two people they would like to speak to in connection with the incident, which happened on October 21, at about 11.10pm.
One of the victim’s friends, a 25-year-old woman, was also punched and pushed to the ground during the assault, police said.
Police said the 19-year-old victim was travelling on a westbound Jubilee line train between West Ham and North Greenwich with his friends when the assault took place.
He and his friends were dressed in fancy dress for an event they were going to when two men boarded the train at West Ham and became verbally abusive.
Police said the offenders used homophobic language and became aggressive when challenged.
BTP said in a statement: “The first offender then pulled the victim from his seat into a headlock, strangling him.
“The second offender took the victim’s phone and verbally abused him again, also making threats to stab him.
“They demanded the victim apologise for being gay which eventually the victim did as he was struggling to breathe.
“They then let him go and handed back his phone and a fight ensued between the victim’s friends and the offenders.”
The woman who was punched sustained bruising, police said.
Meanwhile, the original victim did not sustain any injuries and the victims left the train at North Greenwich.
Police added in a statement: “Hate crime will not be tolerated by British Transport Police.
“We believe that everyone has the right to travel safety.
“We won’t tolerate behaviour where someone is targeted because they are perceived to be different, or made to feel uncomfortable on their journey.”
Police are appealing for information and would like to speak to those shown in the images as they may have information which could help the investigation.
Anyone who recognises those pictured is asked to contact BTP on 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016, quoting reference number 273 of 1/12.