An 18-year-old girl was left with a blood clot in her eye after she told a guy she wasn’t interested in him and he knocked her unconscious.
Gabrielle Walsh was out with her friend Kyle in the Gay Village in Manchester at around 3:30am on Saturday (July 13) when the pair were approached by three men.
The group began to talk to Gabrielle and Kyle, despite the fact they were walking away.
Speaking to Manchester Evening News, the 18-year-old explained they were on their way home and she had taken her shoes off. One of the three men told her they liked her feet, to which she simply responded ‘okay’.
Gabrielle, who is a college student, said the trio followed her and Kyle regardless of the fact they weren’t engaging in conversation with them.
They kept walking behind trying to talk to me. Eventually, I turned around and said ‘I’m sorry, I’m not interested’.
One of the men responded by asking Gabrielle if she was with ‘specky four eyes’ and pointing at Kyle, who wore glasses.
The 18-year-old said the trio ‘kept harassing’ them and things escalated as one of the men, who has been described as white, around 5ft 8in tall and wearing a pink t-shirt, lashed out and hit Gabrielle before the group turned their attention to Kyle.
She told Manchester Evening News:
I was saying to Kyle ‘let’s go’.
Then he hit me – he fully knocked me out. When I woke up I was on the floor and the three of them had jumped on Kyle as well.
The pair were helped by volunteers from a community safety partnership called the Village Angels, who gave Gabrielle some first aid and tried to get her an ambulance.
However, there was a two hour wait for the emergency vehicle so she ended up just getting a taxi to the hospital, where staff gave her some eye drops and sent her home.
She later returned to hospital where she was told she had a blood clot in her eye.
The teenager said:
I still can’t really see out of it, when I open my eye all I see is yellow.
Photos of Gabrielle’s injuries have been shared hundreds of times on social media and a person who says they witnessed the incident has reportedly come forward to confirm what they saw.
Gabrielle says the attack left her fearing going out in public on her own:
I’m not a rude person, I just said ‘sorry I’m not interested’. I think it was a jealousy, ego thing because I rejected him in front of his friends.
Girls feel like they can’t say ‘no’. They feel like if they say ‘no’ then they might hurt you and in this case it was true.
It’s scared me, I’m scared to go out, I’ve always got to be with somebody.
The council’s city centre spokesperson Pat Karney condemned the attack, saying:
I am horrified to hear about this horrific attack.
We will check our CCTV system to see if we can identify the attacker.
Gabrielle is hoping police may be able to obtain CCTV of the incident and her friends are imploring anyone with information to come forward.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.