Posted by Mary Ann Pekara | Posted in Personal Injury News
A Chicago police brutality case involving an off-duty officer and a female bartender at a Northwest Side bar has gotten nationwide press and is one of the most disturbing images of violence in a long time. After drinking at Jesse’s Bar earlier in the day on February 19th, off-duty officer Anthony G. Abbate returned later that night around 9:30 p.m. Upon having one drink, Abbate asked for another but was turned down by Karolina the bartender, who recalled that he appeared drunk. Abbate allegedly told the female bartender that “No one tells me what to do” and then walked around the bar and begin to punch and kick her. The attorney of Karolina, who did not want her last name used, is expected to file a personal injury lawsuit in a couple of weeks.
The disturbing video shows Abbate walking into the back of the bar with a chair in hand before Karolina attempts to get him to leave and he starts to attack her. Specifically, the video shows Abbate kicking Karolina, grabbing her hair, slamming her against the bar, throwing her to the floor and punching her repeatedly. Sadly, other bar patrons apparently did nothing while the 6-foot-251 pound Abbate wailed on the 5-foot-4 and 115 pound Karolina. One man appeared to make a cell phone call.
After the beating, Abbate has been accused of trying to bribe Karolina and the bar’s owner to not press charges. A Chicago Sun-Times story said that an unidentified individual entered the bar shortly after the incident and offered Karolina money to keep her mouth shut and not prosecute Abbate. A couple of days later, a friend of Abbate allegedly called and warned Karolina and the bar’s owner that police might find drugs in their car if they took legal action.
Abbate, a 12-year police veteran, was not arrested for the February incident until nearly a month later on March 14th. Abbate checked himself into a substance abuse program shortly after the incident, and police did not have access to him. He was later charged with a felony and released for the meantime on 10% of a $70,000 bail. Karolina’s personal injury attorney Terry Ekl said that his client suffered bruises on her arms, shoulders, legs and head from the attack and has also experienced headaches and nausea.