Harassed in Regent’s Park

New submission from Amanda

We were in Regent’s Park on a bench off the main traffic area having a quiet discussion when a male came over and asked if he could sit in the space in between my (female) tutor and I (female). The space was about a foot. My tutor gave him a soft no, replying that there was bird shit on the bench between us so that he could not sit there. He pressed further, insisting that he wanted to sit between us and aggressively asking if the bird shit was “just an excuse” to not let him sit.

At that point, I gave him a clear and direct no. I said “Not interested, you need to move on.” He immediately got aggressive, said that it was a public park and that he was “just making a joke” about sitting between us and became angry that I had “ruined” his joke. I persisted in telling him to walk away at which point he stated that he “wasn’t even talking to me” and began fixating on my tutor, who informed him that she felt the same as I did. After she stated her disinterest I again told him to leave at which point he told me to “shut the fuck up.” He repeated “shut the fuck up” several times and I continued to instruct him to leave.

I eventually pulled out my phone to take a photograph, at which point he lunged at me, saying “don’t take my picture” and delivering a glancing blow as he tried to wrestle the phone out of my hands. Then, he ran away. I also have several photos of him running away.