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'I'm terrified to go downtown again Halifax': Woman recovering after altercation with group of men who allegedly made homophobic slurs

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A birthday celebration turned into a nightmare for a same-sex couple in downtown Halifax on Saturday after they got into a violent altercation with a group of men.

“A group of men walking on the other direction made a comment to me,” said Emma MacLean. “My girlfriend, Tori, said ‘hey that’s my girlfriend.’”

MacLean said this provoked the group, which led to them taunting her girlfriend and making homophobic slurs. “They continued walking and then Tori followed them to basically verbally say ‘that is not okay.’”

However, from there she said it escalated.

“I see Tori being pushed on the stairs right in front of the BMO centre and they are cement stairs and she’s on her back. That’s when all the men start punching and kicking her,” said MacLean.

MacLean said she shouted for them to stop but they ignored her, which is when she got involved.

“The fight or flight came in. I jumped on one of their backs and put him in a chokehold basically trying to restrain him,” she said.

Police patrolling the area were alerted by a bystander. However, by that time the altercation had ended.

MacLean said officers then approached her and her girlfriend and told them that they did speak with someone involved in the incident.

The injuries to MacLean's girlfriend Tori's face after the alleged attack. (Facebook/Emma MacLean)“The officer said that one person stuck around to give their ID and claimed that we attacked them. He said the other people were not cooperative in giving their identification.”

MacLean said they both suffered injuries. Her girlfriend has bruises on her arm and under her eye. As for MacLean, she also has a bruise under her eye, a chipped tooth, and a broken nose.

The injuries to Emma's face after the alleged attack. (Facebook/Emma MacLean) “I felt punches and kicks and then I felt it on my nose and there was blood. I just thought this needs to stop now,” said MacLean. “I went to emerge the night of and they basically said it was too swollen for surgery.”

Even now, despite it being days since the incident happened, MacLean still feels shaken.

“I’m terrified to go downtown again in Halifax. I just feel like it’s so out of your control on what could happen,” said MacLean. “It’s overwhelming. I didn’t expect something like this to happen, especially with it happening during pride month as well.”

Police told CTV News the incident is under investigation and no charges have been laid at this time.

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