Ex-cop convicted of beating bartender in court for civil suit - FOX 32 News Chicago

Ex-cop convicted of beating bartender in court for civil suit

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The participants in the notorious bar room beating that led to the resignation of a Chicago police superintendent were back in court Monday.

Ex-Chicago cop Anthony Abbate was already convicted of a criminal charge, and now his victim wants civil damages.

Karolina Obrycka said she wasn't just the victim of a brutal attack at the hands of Abbate, who was off-duty at the time.

In a federal trial that began Monday, the one-time bartender said she was also the victim of a police conspiracy aimed at concealing the videotaped proof, and sugar-coating the image of the police department.

"The code of silence is pervasive throughout the Chicago Police Department. It's at various levels," Obrycka's attorney Terry Ekl said.

After the beating, Abbate was found guilty of aggravated battery and received two years probation. Obrycka now wants monetary damages.

She claims that Abbate and other officers, including then-Deputy Superintendent Debra Kirby, Head of Internal Affairs, tried to cover everything up.

The city said Abbate was too drunk to be thinking of any cover-up, and he admitted that on the witness stand Monday.

"Obviously I'm going to defend him on the ground that he didn't participate in any type of conspiracy and there was no conspiracy to cover it up," Abbate's attorney Mike Malatesta said.

A spokesman for the city said Debra Kirby has no comment on allegations that she participated in a cover-up. Kirby is currently the department's Chief of its Office of International Relations.

The trial is expected to last two to three weeks. Abbate doesn't have to be in court every day, but he was back on the witness stand Tuesday morning.

During his Tuesday morning testimony, Abbate told the jury that he never wanted to be a police officer because it's a very stressful job, and he didn't like dealing with other people's problems.

But the day the beating took place was especially worse for him because he had just received bad news - that his beloved dog had cancer. He said he was very depressed about that, and he was on a mission to get completely inebriated.

Abbate said he went to a bar called Jesse's, and apparently started trouble there with another patron. That's when the female bartender, plaintiff Karolina Obrycka, kicked him out. He testified that he went to another bar and had six alcoholic drinks in addition to some shots. He returned to the Jesse's and drank some more after that.

Several clips of his drunken behavior were played for the jury, during which Abbate told the jury he was flexing his "beer" muscles in front of the cameras he knew there.

Abbate then said that after he began to strike the bartender, he drove home drunk and he made 150 calls on his phone. He testified that at that point he was simply drunk dialing and but he doesn't remember any of the conversations that he had.

The very next day, Abbate said he started to get a lot of phone calls from people telling him what had happened, and he started to piece together everything. It was at that point he checked himself into rehab.

The plaintiff contends that those 150 phone calls were all part of his effort to cover his tracks, to cover up the investigation here and to get out of getting in trouble with the police department. Abbate said otherwise in court.

It's expected that the plaintiff will also testify possibly at some point on Tuesday.

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