Michael Grubbs was walking through a residential neighborhood in Chino one morning last August when he stupidly snatched a pair of black Vans sneakers that were sitting out on a front porch.
He had no idea that inside the home were two off-duty LA County sheriff's deputies.
And he had no idea that his foolish decision would get him his head caved in.
According to a lawsuit recently filed against LA County in federal court, the two deputies saw Grubbs steal the shoes, so they grabbed their guns, hopped in their car and chased after him.
Dressed in street clothes, the two deputies found Grubbs on a nearby foot bridge and drew their weapons, locking in on the shoe-thief. Grubbs claims they ordered him to lie down on the ground or else they would blow his head off.
Grubbs apparently got down on his belly and spread his arms and legs. According to the lawsuit, while one of the deputies held Grubbs at gunpoint, the other deputy started kicking him between the eyes with the toe of his shoe.
Grubbs claims that the deputy who was still holding the gun on him then joined in the beating, "punching and kicking [Grubbs] mercilessly," before standing on top of Grubbs' neck.
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"He was dumb and stole a pair of $20 shoes," Grubbs' attorney, Justin Sanders, tells the Weekly. "And then they just opened up on him. They made him lay down, turned his head to the side and intentionally were kicking him in the face and the eyes."
A nearby woman called 911 and when the Chino police showed up, according to the lawsuit, the officers "verbally expressed shock and disappointment at the way [the deputies] had physically abused" Grubbs.
Sanders says that the Chino officers "chastised" the two deputies, who allegedly never identified themselves to Grubbs as lawmen, and agreed to testify on Grubbs' behalf.
Grubbs was taken to a nearby hospital and has yet to regain full vision, says Sanders.