Julia Macfarlane, a London-based journalist working for ABC, said she was kicked and punched on a train around 10:30am this morning, by a man who was simply annoyed by her.
The incident happened as she was getting off at East Croydon railway station in South London. British Transport Police were called and are investigating, but no arrests have been made.
Here’s what you need to know about Julia Macfarlane:
1. Julia Says a Man Started Throwing Punches at Her After She Wouldn’t Move Fast Enough For Him on The Train; He Tried to Take Her Phone so She Couldn’t Record
When the train pulled into East Croydon Station, a man started pushing Julia as if she was in the way as he was trying to exit.
“I turned around and said, ‘mate, I’m getting off at the next stop too,'” Julia told MailOnline.
The man responded with, “how the f*** was I supposed to know that?”
Julia tried to ignore the man by turning her back to him and putting her headphones in, but he kicked her in the back. “He kicked me hard – like a football,” she said.
“He repeatedly tried to punch me because I didn’t get off the train fast enough.”
“The whole time I was trying to take photos of him he was grabbing me and trying to take my phone and swinging his fists,” Julia said in her interview.
Julia and a bystander chased the man to see if they could get his hat off to take a picture of his face for police, but the man got away.
“He’s a danger to other people so hopefully the police will catch him. Imagine if I had been an old lady,” Julia said.
2. Julia Was Asked to Remove The Photos She Posted of The Attack, But The Man Has Been Identified
The photos Julia had of the attack had to be removed while police investigated, but her attacker has been identified. Police told her he turned himself in. It’s unknown whether or not he will face charges.
According to Julia, only one person stepped in to help her, even though there was an entire train full of people who witnessed her being kicked and punched.
“The only person who helped me – and actually ran after the man and caught him for a short while before he escaped again – was a young black guy called Tyesdale. Hero, thank you friend.”
Julia has some bruising from the attack but her injuries did not require medical attention.
3. Julia Began Her Career as a Photo Journalist in Indonesia, Where She Was Born
Julia was born and raised in Indonesia. She started her career as a freelance photographer after graduating from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
It wasn’t long before she was offered a position in Beirut, Lebanon with BBC News, where her first solo project was to cover the Syrian refugee crisis.
Julia touched on the experience in an interview with VICE.
“I spent weeks trying to get these refugees, who were too scared to register in order to receive aid, to go on TV and tell me about it. It was hard! Thankfully I managed it somehow, and it was amazing to bring those voices to the world through the BBC, both its national and international TV channels.”
4. BBC Sent Julia to Cover The Gaza-Israel War in 2014, Which She Claims Was Her Most Challenging Assignment Emotionally
In her interview with VICE, Julia was asked to name a project that most challenged her emotionally.
“I was covering the Israel-Gaza conflict from London for the BBC news website. I generally get tense when there are escalations in the Levant (which is my biggest area of interest) but then I just couldn’t sit still, safe in my house in London, while seeing what was happening to the people there. It was difficult to watch,” Julia said.
The Gaza-Israel War was her first project as a staff writer, the others had been contracts while she was freelancing.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself. I went on my own as a self-shooting video journalist, doing radio and online reporting as well – so the hardest part was juggling those different formats while also thinking of the basics, and how to tell a good story. I’m proud of the stories I produced during this time, but it was a challenge for my first assignment.”
5. Julia Made The 2018 Forbes List ’30 Under 30′ For Media & Marketing
Forbes honored Julia back in January when it listed her as one of Europe’s leads in media and marketing. According to Forbes, Julia made the third annual 30 under 30 Europe—Media & Marketing list because of her impressive drive and passion for news that lead her to teach herself how to film using her DSLR camera so she could be on the frontlines of breaking news across the globe.
January of this year, Julia was offered a job at ABC News in London to report on global affairs.
Julia believes that journalism is amongst the worthiest of pursuits:
I hate to sound melodramatic, but I really feel journalism is one of the most important things you can spend your life doing. It’s the cornerstone to a free society. We have a duty to the public to cover events, in stark reality, to resist pressure and intimidation and outside influences, and to report on what is happening with truth and accuracy.