A riotous incident in central Thessaloniki on Saturday evening that almost developed into gay-bashing resulted in nearly two dozen arrests, including minors, and the subsequent filing of charges of against nine suspects.

The widely reported and vilified incident was followed a day later in the exact same location, the northern city’s iconic Atistotelous Square, by a group of masked protestors heckling and attempting to surround visiting SYRIZA leader Stefanos Kasselakis.

The first incident at the square had dozens, or possibly scores of teenagers and young adults singling out, verbally abusing and then throwing bottles at two individuals, both aged 21, identified as transexual, according to local media reports on Saturday evening. The situation soon escalated and turned unruly, with Greek police urgently called to protect the two individuals and restore order.

Twenty-one people were detained at the scene, while nine suspects were later remanded on various misdemeanor charges – including offenses conducted with racist overtones. Of the 21 suspects detained in the first phase, media reports claimed 12 are foreign nationals. Authorities were also considering the prospect of filing a charge of neglect of the supervision of a minor against the parents of the under-age suspects.

The nine defendants were released on Monday pending trial via the rapid in flagrante delicto (caught red-handed) judicial process. The two people singled out for abuse were not in the Thessaloniki courthouse on Monday but were represented by attorneys.

Meanwhile, upon arriving to attend a film festival event at the city’s Olympion Theater Kasselakis came under verbal attack and threats by up to 50 masked individuals who veered off a protest against the previous evening’s homophobic incident.

One police officer was injured at the scene when a masked perpetrator threw a motorcycle helmet at him and struck him in the head.

The incident involving Kasselakis generated an urgent order by the chief prosecutor of Greece’s supreme court towards the head of Thessaloniki’s first instance courts prosecutor’s office to commence an independent investigation over possible criminal wrong-doing.