Another officer investigated for covering up beating
March 23, 2007 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- A grand jury is investigating whether a Chicago police officer was involved in trying to cover up another officer's alleged beating of a female bartender. The violent attack was caught by a security camera.
Anthony Abbate was arrested Tuesday on an aggravated battery charge. A videotape shows him beating a female bartender at Jesse's Shortstop Inn on West Belmont last month. Abbate was off duty at the time.
The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that a grand jury is weighing an obstruction-of-justice charge against a second police officer suspected of helping to threaten and bribe the woman to keep silent about the beating.
According to the victim, police officer Anthony Abbate, 38, came after her when she refused to serve him more drinks at Jesse's Shortstop Inn.
"I just refused serving him because he got too stupid and too drunk," said Karolina, 24, who did not wish to use her last name. Karolina has sent quit bartending.
Abbate is out on a $70,000 bond.
At 5'4" tall and 115 pounds, Karolina is half the size of police officer Anthony Abbate, who is 6'1" tall and 250 pounds. Abbate allegedly went behind the bar, threw Karolina to the ground and then repeated punched and kicked her. A security camera caught the attack on tape.
See the complete attack as it was caught on tape
"On the tape, I see myself and him. In my head, I see just him beating me," said Karolina.
Karolina says she had never met Abbate before and didn't know he was an off-duty Chicago police officer. She says she had bruises on her arms, ribcage and legs from the January 19th attack.
None of the onlookers in the tape stepped in to help. One patron who was there that night says he tried to stop the attack.
"I came and got closer to the guy, and I said, 'Would you please stop hitting her?' " said Kevin Kelly.
"I just couldn't believe that this large man, who is a Chicago police officer, who the Chicago Police Department gives gun and badge to protect people, could engage in that type of conduct," said Terry Ekl, Karolina's attorney.
Abbate, a 12-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, has been stripped of his police powers. The department is also moving fire him.
"It was disgusting. It was despicable conduct. Nobody should have that done to them and the fact that he is a police officer is even more damning," said Supt. Phil Cline, Chicago Police Dept.
According to court records, Abbate did not have a clean record. He was arrested for DUI in 1992 and named in a federal lawsuit for beating a man under arrest in 1999. The man later died.
Abbate's father is a retired police officer and appeared at his bond hearing Wednesday. After the evidence on the videotape, Abbate's charges were upgraded from misdemeanor battery to a felony.
"It is one of the most brutal and savage attacks that I have seen caught on tape," said David Navarro, assistant Cook Co. state's attorney.
There is an investigation underway into whether someone tried to buy off the victim in the now infamous bartender beating that was caught on tape. The victim's lawyer says someone tried to bribe her to keep quiet and that she and the bar owner were threatened if they pursued the case.
Police say they are investigating the alleged bribe and whether Abbate received any favorable treatment from police when he was arrested.
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