Abbate: No memory of bartender beating, calls
October 23, 2012 (CHICAGO) -- A former Chicago police officer convicted of beating a female bartender says he never asked fellow officers to help him out of trouble for that 2007 incident.
Anthony Abbate was back on the stand Tuesday in the civil trial filed by that bartender.
The beating of bartender Karolina Obrycka was captured by surveillance cameras. Obrycka claims Abbate's fellow officers agreed to a code of silence in an effort to protect him.
Abbate told jurors he was so intoxicated after consuming several mixed drinks, shots and painkillers that he doesn't remember the beating, nor does he remember several phone conversations afterwards.
Obrycka's attorney says Abbate is lying.
Abbate says he doesn't remember much about the February 2007 night he was caught on videotape beating up bartender Obrycka. In the civil trial against the fired Chicago cop, Abbate testified that was "on a mission to get totally inebriated" because he was upset his dog had just been diagnosed with cancer.
Obrycka accuses Abbate and the Chicago Police Department of trying to cover up and downplay the beating.
"A police report was generated, he was arrested, he was charged with a felony," said Abbate attorney Michael Malatesta. "He was fired from his job. The videotape was in existence and provided for everyone to see, so, no, I don't believe he engaged in a cover-up."
But, it took more than a month before Abbate was charged with battery.
Obrycka's attorney Terry Ekl says the alleged cover-up was evident by the more than 110 phone calls Abbate made within 24 hours after the beating.
"Phone records are going to reveal that Abbate called a number of Chicago police officers in an attempt to get help on this case," said Ekl. "We're going to be unraveling those phone calls as the trial goes on."
While Abbate told jurors he remembers very little of those phone conversations, he did remember that he "didn't tell anybody to do anything."
Abbate said the calls were nothing more than "drunk dialing."
"He is all over the lot in terms of trying to explain. At times he wants to say, 'I don't remember any calls,' and then wants to tell you that he didn't do certain things," Ekl said.
Ekl accuses Abbate of lying on the witness stand.
"He didn't tell the truth, that is for sure," said Ekl.
"He took an oath and he testified in open court," said Malaesta. "If that's Mr. Ekl's opinion then that's Mr. Ekl's opinion."
During most of Abbate's testimony, the former officer gave one-word answers, as did Abbate's girlfriend when she testified. She also told jurors she doesn't recall the content of any of the phone calls she had with her boyfriend that night.
The jury also heard from two police officers Tuesday, one who omitted Abbate's name and the fact that he was a police officer on the police report after the beating.
local, sarah schulte
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