Chicago Officer Found Guilty Of Battering Bartender

Two years ago, TalkLeft called attention to Chicago Police Officer Anthony Abbate's videotaped beating of a female bartender, one of a series of violent incidents involving Chicago cops in bars that led to the resignation of the city's police superintendent. Abbate was charged with aggravated battery, a crime carrying a potential five year sentence. On Tuesday, Judge John Fleming rejected Abbate's claim of self defense and found him guilty. Judge Fleming acquitted Abbate of official misconduct because it was undisputed that Abbate never identified himself as a police officer.

Abbate is 6'1" and weighs in at 250. It's easy to understand the judge's reluctance to believe he appropriately defended himself by throwing the bartender, Karolina Obrycka, to the ground before repeatedly punching and kicking her. Obrycka is 5'3" and weighs 125 pounds.[more ...]

The video, played repeatedly during the two-day bench trial, shows the drunken officer go behind the bar after already having been told to leave by Obrycka. As she pushed and pulled at him, Abbate appeared to shrug her off. He then suddenly fell or was pulled off balance, crashing back into the bar, his head bouncing hard off a shelf support.

Abbate slammed Obrycka against the bar, then violently threw her to the floor. He repeatedly kicked and punched her on the floor as she struggled to evade the blows. He held her by one hand as he took full swings at her head with his right fist.

Although Abbate claimed he felt threatened when he fell into the shelf, he admitted that no threat existed while he was punching and kicking Obrycka as she laid on the floor.

< Cuba And The OAS | French Inmates Saddle Up For Bike Tour >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    In Oakland (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Repack Rider on Thu Jun 04, 2009 at 06:05:15 AM EST
    A police officer testifying at the preliminary hearing for the officer who shot a prone man in the back stated that the subject refused to put his hands behind his back.

    The prosecutor then had him view one of several cellphone videos shot at the scene by onlookers, freezing the frame as the shot was fired, and he conceded that the subject's hands were indeed behind his back.

    Who ya gonna believe, the officer or the lying, multiple videos?

    The video age is going to be hard on police testimony.

    not really. (5.00 / 0) (#4)
    by cpinva on Thu Jun 04, 2009 at 08:15:08 AM EST
    The video age is going to be hard on police testimony.

    in arguably the most infamous video age case of police misconduct, that of rodney king, the jury evidently believed the officers, the lying video tape notwithstanding.

    the present case is a rarity, in the annals of police misconduct, not the norm. my guess is that the failure to identify himself as a police officer, prior to beating the snot out of the lady, is what swayed the jury, not the actual misconduct itself.


    One minor point (none / 0) (#6)
    by nyjets on Thu Jun 04, 2009 at 11:43:28 AM EST
    If I remember correctly, there was a lot more
    to that video that was aired on television. There was footage showing Rodney King assaulting police officers, throwing them around, and basiclly being a one man wrecking crew. In other words, the jury got to see the whole video, not just the part shown on network television.

    Throwing them around.. (none / 0) (#7)
    by jondee on Thu Jun 04, 2009 at 03:58:12 PM EST
    something about that smacks of troglodyte talk radio urban legend.

    In this case (none / 0) (#8)
    by Repack Rider on Thu Jun 04, 2009 at 04:31:39 PM EST
    The video was used to impeach a specific statement on the part of the testifying officer, who had claimed that when the shot was fired, the subject had refused to place his hands behind his back.

    The only "context" necessary was how the subject was positioned when the shot was fired, also caught on the video.  The officer was forced to admit that his sworn testimony was not true.

    IANAL, but I suspect that this testimony is admissible when the case comes to trial (anybody?), and it won't help the defense.

    Here is a link to the article.


    If he were high on pot, (none / 0) (#2)
    by Left of center on Thu Jun 04, 2009 at 01:56:44 AM EST
    it never would have happened.

    Possibly... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 04, 2009 at 08:15:19 AM EST
    though no amount of the good dope can mellow some people...unfortunately some people get highest of all off busting heads, and too many of those types are issued badges and guns.