So you're out and about, doing whatever it is young people do, when you find yourself on the train with some pretty despicable people. They're picking on a young gay man, screaming every slur in the book at him. What do you do?
Well, if you're Daniel Hauff, you get involved, get beaten up and then get to watch the men who beat you walk away scot-free. Apparently a photograph of someone punching you in the face isn't enough evidence to put your attackers behind bars.
Hauff, a gay man from Chicago, found himself on the train with some homophobic jerks (Sean Little, 23, Benjamin Eder, 25, and Kevin McAndrew, 24) who were picking on another gay man. When he stepped in, the homophobes turned their aggression on Hauff and began pushing and punching him while screaming anti-gay slurs.
Obviously, since they were on the train, there were witnesses. One even snapped a picture on his cellphone and brought it to court with him.
Assistant State’s Attorney Dan Kirk said during closing arguments, “We don’t choose our victims and we don’t choose our witnesses. This picture,” he said, holding up the cell phone photo a witness took of Eder punching Hauff, “is a perfect witness.”
But unfortunately, that wasn't enough. When Hauff wasn't able to recall all the details of his day before and after the event,the judge decided his attackers were innocent.
“The victim is not to be believed,” said Judge Diane Cannon, who presided over the case. “His inability to recall who did what is understandable. His inability to recall what he did the day after this incident is not understandable.”