They say no good deed goes unpunished, and that was certainly true for Marcel Schoeman.
The 49-year-old personal trainer from London was biking home from the gym on December 5 when he saw a young mother being harassed by a motorist on the street.
“He was [being] a bully,” Schoeman tells the Evening Standard. “She was saying ‘leave me alone.’ He blocked her way.”
So Schoeman did what any good samaritan would do. He got off his bicycle and went to intervene.
“It was just an instinct,” Schoeman says. “I thought ‘not on my watch.’ I just said something. He started to get out of the car. He was being aggressive. It felt very dangerous.”
The man started hurling antigay slurs at him.
“He called me a faggot and a queer,” Schoeman recalls. “Then he drove off. The girl turned to me and said ‘Thank you so much’. But then he came back.”
And that’s when things took a violent turn.
Moments after returning, the motorist revved his engine then tried running over Schoeman.
“I saw the sign pole and I jumped behind it,” Schoeman recalls with horror. “And that’s when I hurt my knee but he didn’t actually hit me.”
After narrowly escaping being hit, he called police. But the motorist had already sped off before they arrived.
“I am a bit messed up about it,” Schoeman says. “It was really freaky.”
A spokeswoman for the LGBTQ rights group Stonewall told the Evening Standard: “Incidents like this and recent crime figures show that lesbian, gay, bi and trans people still face high levels of hate crime on our streets and demonstrate how much there is for us to do before everyone is free to be themselves, wherever they live.”