A TATTOOED thug battered a young woman in a horrific homophobic attack.

Police said the 19-year-old was pushed to the ground and punched in the face in Glasgow city centre.

She was walking

with a 16-year-old

female when the pair were targeted in

St Enoch Square.

Police said they were approached and verbally abused by the thug, who punched the victim to the ground, at around 1am on Saturday.

The suspect ran off after the attack, but

police said his clothes and bag may have been torn in the struggle.

Officers described

the attack, which they are treating as a

homophobic incident, as "nasty".

The male attacker, who has a full sleeve

tattoo, is described as being in his late to mid 20s, 6ft, with ginger hair.

He was wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans and was carrying a black ruscksack.

Superintendent Alan Porte, who is leading the inquiry, said: "This was a nasty attack on two young women.

"Police Scotland has a zero tolerance

approach to tackling crime based on prejudice and I want to make clear it will not be tolerated.

"In relation to this

serious assault, officers have been carrying out inquiries in the local area and studying CCTV in an effort to gather information on the man responsible.

"St Enoch Square may have been busy with people on nights out and I believe passing motorists or pedestrians may have seen something which could help us in this inquiry.

"I would urge anyone who witnessed this crime, or has any information that may assist inquiries to contact police."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101.