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Man ‘beaten up by restaurant staff’ after Pride meal with boyfriend

He says the staff dragged him out of the restaurant

Police are investigating after a man has accused restaurant staff of physically assaulting and shouting homophobic abuse at him during Pride.

Ben Perryman has said staff at Donatello Italian in The Lanes began kicking, punching and hurling abuse at him over a dispute regarding payment. Sussex police are currently investigating the assault.

26-year-old Perryman was visiting Brighton to celebrate Pride with his boyfriend, who is from Hove. During the meal Perryman discovered he had lost his wallet, and attempted to arrange to come back the next day to pay.

He told The Argus: "The exchange got heated. I asked if we could have the discussion somewhere away from the customers having lunch.

"I was taken to a private dining room, and someone grabbed me under my arm, squeezing one hand on the back of the neck. He was kneeing me in the buttocks and legs.

"Then two other people came in the door and started kicking me in the legs. Another man started punching me in the ribs while the other two held me back.

"Before I knew it I was being hit in the back, the side, and the legs. Then they were shouting 'Get the f**k out'."

View this post on Instagram

London Pride… you ruined me. But I loved you.

A post shared by Ben Perryman (@benperryman) on Jul 8, 2019 at 10:48am PDT

Perryman was also subject to homophobic slurs. He said: "They were shouting homophobic abuse at me, calling me a 'queer bastard' and a 'faggot'.

“I was then dragged out of the restaurant in front of all the diners. I didn’t retaliate at all. I’m not that kind of person.”

The owner of Donatello confirmed to The Argus that she was at the restaurant on the day of the attack but refused to provide further comment.

The Sussex Tab contacted Donatello but they declined to comment.

A spokesperson for Sussex Police told The Sussex Tab: "At 1.50pm on Thursday 8th August officers attended a reported disturbance at Donatello in Brighton Place, Brighton.

"A 26-year-old man who had been a customer at the restaurant had sustained bruises to his arm and ribs not requiring hospital treatment.

"An investigation is continuing into the assault and the use of reported homophobic insulting words towards the same victim.

No arrests have been made yet but anyone with information can contact the police online or by calling 101 quoting serial 816 of 08/08.