A Chicago man claims he was able to escape a beating on a Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) train on January 10 by smearing his blood on the attackers and telling them he was HIV positive, which he is not, the Chicago Tribune reports. The alleged attackers were arrested for misdemeanor battery and “making disparaging comments.” They were later released on bail.

According to the article, Daniel Hauff, 33, was trying to break up a dispute between two men on a CTA Red Line train at about 3 A.M. One of them, joined by two other passengers, allegedly started yelling gay slurs at Hauff and began beating him.

“I never once threw a punch,” Hauff said. “It’s just not in my nature.”

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that a witness photographed the attack with his cell phone.

When the men began taunting him, Hauff told the police, he pressed the emergency intercom and a conductor arrived at the scene but left after a short time. Hauff also told the police the conductor should have stayed and called the police earlier.

CTA spokesperson Katelyn Thrall told the Tribune that “the operator appropriately called the police” immediately.