Greg Malandrucco and Matthew Clark didn't think much of a shove by a fellow customer at Bucktown's Arturo's Tacos late one February night.
Then, according to a lawsuit filed by the two, the customer and a companion -- both plainclothes police officers -- followed them out of the restaurant and savagely beat them, leaving them bleeding and Malandrucco unconscious on the ground.
"As I was laying down and getting punched, this woman that was with them is telling me, 'Quit resisting. They're cops. They're going to beat you,'" Clark told NBC Chicago.
The lawsuit claims that uniformed police arrived in marked squad cars. But rather than helping the two victims, the police officers joined in the melee, "switch[ing] places with the plainclothes officer who was on top of Malandrucco, holding him down and striking him in the process."
Surveillance video captured part of the beating.
After all was said and done, none of the officers on the scene sought medical attention for the pair. Instead, they told the two men, one a Ph. D. and the other a doctoral candidate at the University of Chicago, "to go home and forget the incident ever happened."
Instead, the men are suing for unspecified damages. One of the defendants in the suit is the City of Chicago itself; the filing claims that "As a matter of both policy and practice, Defendant City of Chicago facilitates the very type of misconduct at issue here."