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We’ve heard of women, targeted by rapists, being advised to scream about how they are pregnant to stop the assault, because even disgusting men have enough of a soul that they’ll back away from possibly hurting a fetus. Similarly, there’s the HIV-positive defense: If you find yourself being attacked and bloodied, scream about how you’re HIV-positive, and there’s a chance you’ll be left alone. That’s how Daniel Hauff, of Evanston, Ill., warded off three alleged gay bashers who went after him on the train when Hauff came to the defense of another rider being bullied.
The three men — Kevin McAndrew, Benjamin Eder, and Sean Little — all face hate crime charges stemming from last month’s attack, which Hauff, who is gay, says left him with cuts on his face, a deviated septum, and blurred vision. But it’s Hauff’s defense mechanism that has our interest piqued.
Assistant State’s Attorney Erin Antonietti told Ocasio that Hauff intervened in the early morning hours of Jan. 10 when he saw the three harass another rider and utter anti-gay slurs. The three then turned on Hauff, pushing and punching him while shouting anti-gay slurs at him, she said.
Little and Eder allegedly punched Hauff in the face. As the fight spilled out onto the Argyle Street station, Antonietti said, they had Hauff’s blood on their hands and asked, ” ‘Cause you’re gay, do I have HIV now?”
Hauff tells police that he did wipe blood on his three alleged attackers, and told them he was HIV-positive as a way to get them to stop the assault; Hauff says he is not, in fact, HIV-positive.
In that split-second decision, Hauff didn’t care about possibly stigmatizing those with HIV — something HIV/AIDS advocates work tirelessly to nix. Instead, he used a general fear of contracting the virus to keep himself and other other victim safe. It worked, and we’ll recommend saying anything that does.
Posted Hauff on Facebook: “The men who gay bashed me apparently have the defense that they assaulted and battered two gay men on the train while calling them faggots merely because they are hateful people out to violate the bodies of others through violence. Wasn’t a hate crime, no. They’re just awful people is all. Hmm… But, I editorialize.”