Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Take That, Cowardly "Libber" - I'll Defend Myself Against Your Attacks
Still shot from video surveillance camera showing Battke standing over the battered bartender on the floor inside the bartender only area.
Chicago cop convicted of battery on petite female bartenderJun 02 2009 05:02PM CDT
A hulking, 250 pound off-duty Chicago cop, who testified he pummeled a female bartender who weighs 125 pounds because he believed he was in danger of being physically assaulted by her was found guilty Tuesday of aggravated battery.
Judge John Fleming rejected Anthony Abbate's claim that he acted in self defense when he threw, punched and kicked Karolina Obrycka to the floor behind the bar as she tended bar in February 2007. The attack was caught on a tavern security tape and occurred when she refused to serve him more drinks because he was drunk.
Abbate disputed the claim, saying he had only had 5 or 6 drinks and that he was a big man who could handle liquor. He said falling off a barstool and not being able to get up unassisted was caused by a severe attack of lumbago.
Abbate, 40, faces probation to up to five years in prison when he is sentenced June 23. He remained free Tuesday after Fleming denied a request to revoke bond. Abbate's lawyer said he was a peaceful, family man, who doted on his children, and was not a risk to the public.
The video footage of a drunken, 250-pound Abbate (ah-BAHT'-ee) punching and kicking the 125-pound Obrycka (ob-REYE'-kah) circulated widely as another example of misconduct by Chicago police. During the controversy, then-Superintendent Phil Cline suddenly announced his retirement, and Jody Weis was appointed with an order to clean up the department's image.
Testifying Tuesday, Abbate acknowledged he was drunk, but said the bartender pushed him first as she tried to remove him from behind the bar, an area prohibited to the public.
Abbate said he "didn't want to receive another injury. I threw her to the ground solely to get her off of me. I was concerned for my personal safety."
Two charges of official misconduct were dismissed by the judge, who said there was no evidence Abbate abused his position as a police officer, noting that Obrycka testified Abbate never identified himself as an officer.
Abbate has been "suspended pending separation" and relieved of his duties and pay, said Chicago police spokesman Roderick Drew. Weis has said he wants Abbate fired.
The Chicago Police Officers Association vowed to fight Abbate's dismissal, saying he was deliberately provoked by the bartender, who was "spoiling" for a fight after another patron earlier had grabbed one of her breasts. "She thought she could take Abbate because he was so drunk, but he put her in her place real quick," said the President of the Police Officers Association, who refused to identify himself but was referred to by his fellow officers as "Bull" or "Smackdown."
One of the other officers was overheard to mutter, "If he (Abbate) goes down, she goes down, too," an obvious reference to Ms. Obrycka. The prosecutor for Abbate's trial had argued against the release of Mr. Abbate, pending sentencing, because Abbate had threatened to "go after that broad and make her eat her words," according to his cellmate prior to the trial.