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March 26, 2007
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Off-duty Chicago officers accused in bar attack

The Associated Press
Related Story: Chicago cop in video attack allegedly tried to bribe, threaten woman following beating

CHICAGO — Authorities are investigating claims that six off-duty Chicago police officers were captured on video assaulting four men in a bar, the second report of police involved in an assault to surface in a week.

Adam Mastrucci, Scott Lowrance and brothers Aaron and Barry Gilfand were playing pool at the Jefferson Tap and Grille on Dec. 15 when the off-duty officers attacked them, their attorney Steven Fine said.

Patrol officers responded to a 911 call, but left after speaking to one of the off-duty officers, Fine said. One of the four men required reconstructive surgery for a broken nose and another had broken ribs, Fine said.

Lawyers did not say what may have prompted the alleged incident.

"I don't think this is a case where the police department can say they don't know who they're looking for," he said.

Security cameras inside and outside the bar captured the incident, said Sally Saltzberg, another attorney for the men.

Police and the Cook County state's attorney's office are looking into the claim, said police spokeswoman Monique Bond, who declined to discuss details. No charges have been filed in the case, a department spokesman said Sunday.

Saltzberg filed a petition Feb. 27 in Cook County Circuit Court seeking the officers' names, a precursor to a lawsuit. The men have not formally filed suit. The petition is scheduled to appear before a Cook County judge on April 2, Saltzberg said.

The latest claims follow accusations that an off-duty police officer beat a female bartender who reportedly refused to serve him drinks. A bar surveillance camera also recorded that incident, officials said.

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