Police say a man who hit a Naperville cop during a downtown street brawl had a convenient and timely excuse -- he thought the officer's uniform was a Halloween costume.
Authorities aren't necessarily buying it, though.
"This guy had been drinking and was fighting in the street," Sgt. Lou Cammiso said Thursday. "How much credibility do you lend to that statement?"
Police said the fracas on Washington Street at Jefferson Avenue broke out about 1:44 a.m. Sunday after Swavek Krakowiak, 29, of Aurora, spilled a drink on a woman at a bar, prompting an argument that carried into the street.
There, Krakowiak shoved the woman in the chest and pushed her adult daughter, causing her to fall into southbound lanes of Washington Street after she came to her mother's aid, authorities said.
When police arrived, at least six people were involved.
Cammiso said one officer trying to break up the fight was punched by Andres Lopez, 25, of Aurora, while another was elbowed by Marcin Klepinowski, 34, of Oswego. Police used a stun gun to subdue Klepinowski, Cammiso said. He said Lopez claimed he thought the officer he struck was dressed up for Halloween.
Krakowiak, of the 800 block of Richard Street, and Klepinowski, of the 100 block of Concord Drive, were each charged with misdemeanor battery and resisting a peace officer. Krakowiak also faces a public intoxication charge.
Authorities opted for less-serious charges against Lopez, of the 400 block of Jackson Street, and a fourth man, Jesus Nino, 24, of the 1200 block of South State Street in Aurora. They each were cited under city ordinances for fighting.
Cammiso said it was a "pretty decent melee" but no one was seriously injured.
"This was two officers stepping in to break it up. One gets an elbow, another gets punched," he said. "If the officers felt they were intentionally struck, they would have tried to get aggravated battery to a police officer (charges). It was probably unintentional."
Cammiso said he wasn't sure if any people in the area were wearing Halloween costumes at the time. He pointed out that Naperville police uniforms are more elaborate than your average holiday wear.
"They've got the gun belt, radios and all the other equipment," he said. "It's safe to say we feel our officers are clearly identifiable and their uniforms should not be mistaken for Halloween costumes."
The suspects, who are free on bond, could not be reached for comment Thursday.