Gabrielle Walsh, 18, says she was punched in the face after telling a man she was not interested in him. The assault happened while she was walking home with a friend after a night out in Manchester, England.
Walsh says the hit knocked her unconscious. She said the man and his two friends also beat up her friend, Kyle McKeown.
The local police told the Manchester Evening News that investigators are looking into the attack and asking any witnesses to come forward.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Gabrielle Walsh Said She Politely Told the Man, ‘Sorry, I’m Not Interested’ After He Approached Her on the Street
Gabrielle Walsh says she was heading home from a nightclub in Manchester in the early morning hours of Saturday, July 13, when three men began following them. Walsh was walking with her friend, Kyle McKeown, when the group approached. She told the Manchester Evening News that the men appeared to be in their mid-20s.
Walsh explained that one of the men kept trying to talk to her as she walked away. She eventually turned around and told him, “Sorry, I’m not interested.” She said he then began making fun of McKeown for wearing glasses.
Walsh said the man then punched her square in the face, knocking her to the ground and causing her to blackout. When she came to, the three men had begun punching McKeown as well.
2. Gabrielle Walsh Says She Suffered a Blood Clot In Her Left Eye
Gabrielle Walsh shared a picture of her face after the attack on Facebook. Her left eye was heavily swollen. She told local media that she and her friend took a taxi to a nearby hospital for treatment because it would have taken hours for an ambulance to arrive.
Walsh said doctors initially just gave her eye drops. But she was eventually told that she had a blood clot in her eye and says she cannot see out of it when she tries to open the eye.
3. Gabrielle Walsh Says She Thinks the Attack Was About the Man’s Ego
Gabrielle Walsh told the Manchester Evening News that the attack has her feeling afraid to walk around in public.
She told the newspaper, “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.”
Walsh says she thinks the man attacked her as a way to try to save face in front of his friends after she told him she was not interested.
4. Investigators Are Searcing For the Attackers
Investigators in Manchester, England have described the attack as a “cowardly assault” and have vowed to find the three men responsible.
Cherie Buttle, the Chief Inspector for Manchester City Centre, shared on Twitter that her office is asking any potential witnesses to come forward in hopes of identifying Walsh’s attackers.
A councilor for the city, Pat Karney, shared that his office was checking CCTV footage to assist the police department with the investigation.
5. Gabrielle Walsh is a College Student From Manchester
Gabrielle Walsh shared on her Facebook page that she is a native of Manchester, England. She graduated from St. Peter’s High School and was identified by local media as a current college student. Her social media pages do not specify which college she is attending.
Walsh just recently turned 18. She posted “thank you” for birthday wishes on July 5.