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Men Sue Chicago Police Over Beating Caught On Tape

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Men Sue Chicago Police Over Beating Caught On Tape

Men Claim Cops Beat Them After They Accidentally Blocked Officers Path To Cashier

CHICAGO (CBS) ― Matthew Clark, who has a PhD from the University of Chicago, said he always had faith in police until last month. Now he has filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department, claiming plainclothes officers attacked him and his friend.

Clark said he has no idea why they were beaten.

"I'm thinking 'What's happening? This is some horrible nightmare,'" said Clark.

Clark said and he and his friend suffered broken noses and concussions. It started inside a Mexican restaurant on Western Avenue near Armitage.

Clark and Gregory Malandrucco were about to leave after eating at Arturo's Tacos, 2001 N. Western Ave. Clark said officers shoved them out of the way because Malandrucco accidently blocked the officers' path as he was trying to put on his coat.

When they got to the parking lot, Clark said the officers attacked them both.

"There was nothing that could have caused something like this to occur. ... It didn't seem like there was any problem and then the next thing I knew, I was just being violently beaten."

The officers were allegedly waiting for them in the parking lot, and began to yell at the men in an aggressive manner, the suit claims. The two men attempted to calm the officers down by trying "to shake hands, make peace and suggesting that everyone go home since nothing had happened," the suit said.

It was at that time that the male officer "without warning" punched Clark and began to strike him repeatedly, throwing him to the ground, the suit said.

The plainclothes officers then held Clark down and "brutally beat him until he lost consciousness," according to the suit.

When Malandrucco attempted to stop the beating, according to the suit, the officers "responded by beating (him). (They) threw Mr. Malandrucco to the ground, hitting his head against the concrete and knocking him unconscious."

Clark's attorneys said a surveillance tape shows the attack. Clark said he called 911 and uniformed officers arrived.

The suit says that at least three uniformed police officers arrived on the scene in marked squad cars. At one point, one of the uniformed officers "switched places with the plainclothes officer who was on top of Mr. Malandrucco, holding him down and striking him in the process," according to the suit.

Another one of the uniformed officers allegedly kicked or kneed Malandrucco, the suit said.

Clark was "bleeding profusely from the wounds on his head" and Malandrucco "was also bleeding from the wounds on his face," the suit said.

Though they "begged" the uniformed officers to help, the officers allegedly accompanied the plainclothes officers to their car and told Malandrucco and Clark to "go home and forget the incident ever happened," the suit said.

"They took a look at me. I was covered in blood. I said 'Please help me. Are you going to do anything to these guys? Are you going to help us?'" Clark said. "They said 'We're not going to do anything to these guys. You need to go home and forget about it.' And they left the scene."

According to the suit, "at least two nearby surveillance cameras captured this violent and unprovoked beating."

Both men suffered multiple injuries and "six weeks after the attack (Clark) still has a visible scar on his forehead and lip," the suit says. Both missed at least a week of work and have incurred thousands of dollars in medical bills, the suit said.

The men are seeking unspecified damages.

Clark's attorney, Heather Lewis Donnell, said Clark and Malandrucco had always trusted the police.

"911 was someone you called when you're in need of help. And in fact they did call 911 on that night. And to their surprise, the police showed up and didn't help them and now they live in fear of the police," she said.

Clark said he and Malandrucco had never before had a run in with police.

"We're two PhD's from the University of Chicago, completely non-violent in our approach to everything in the world," Clark said.

Clark said what makes the matter worse is that he tried to file a complaint with the city and was told to "think about what you're doing."

Clark views that statement as intimidation.

A city spokeswoman said city lawyers haven't seen the lawsuit, so it would be inappropriate for them to comment on it.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

(© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

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