A 19-year-old woman in London says she was run over by two men on a moped after ignoring their catcall.
Pagan-Lilley Motlagh-Phillips, a council worker, was on her way home from a shopping trip with her brother when two men verbally and physically assaulted her in Cherry Tree Walk, Rainham, Havering. According to Motlagh-Phillips, one of the men shouted “Are you alright, darling?” and when she ignored him the driver became aggressive.
When her brother stepped in to defend her, the driver threatened to run them over.
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Motlagh-Phillips told BuzzFeed News, “They were very close and coming very fast towards me and my brother. I pushed my brother out of the way, and as I pushed him the bike drove straight into me.” The impact of the hit left her trapped under the wheel. “I was underneath the bike just looking at this tire on top of me and thinking, ‘Oh my god, I can’t feel a thing! I can’t feel a thing!’, and then they [reversed] over me and I just lost consciousness.”
“This man took a moped and ran me over because I didn’t entertain his advances. I didn’t swear, I wasn’t abusive, but he ran me over in broad daylight,” she said. Motlagh-Phillips was taken to the hospital where she was treated for internal bruising and given crutches.
However, Motlagh-Phillips believes the police haven’t done enough. The Met confirmed that a man had been arrested for the crime, but was later released with no further action. Havering police also issued an appeal for witnesses through its Twitter account.
On the same day of the appeal, however, police reached out to Motlagh-Phillips saying the case was closed “pending further evidence coming to light.” Motlagh-Phillips said she was told by a senior officer that “violent muggings and stabbings had to be prioritized.”
A spokesperson for The Met told BuzzFeed News, “Appropriate resources are allocated to cases. There has been a full investigation into the incident, which included a public appeal for witnesses and information via media release and the Met’s social media and online channels.”
Motlagh-Phillips is currently considering lodging a formal complaint over the police’s handling of the case, saying her criticism isn’t a personal attack on the officers, but the way police handle crimes against women.
“[My attacker] didn’t care if people saw him, or if I died. He took a weapon and he used it, and that is the same as a stabbing…It’s taken me four months to even want to tweet or talk openly about it. I hope this helps with my case or helps someone going through a similar situation.”