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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Bartender’s lawyer grills officer in police-beating case

    Abel Uribe
    Karolina Obrycka, center, the bartender that former Chicago Police Officer Anthony Abbate beat up, and her lawyers exit the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse, Tuesday, October 23, 2012, in Chicago, Illinois. (Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

    CHICAGO — After she had been viciously beaten by a patron she knew as “Tony,” bartender Karolina Obrycka made it clear to the Chicago police officers responding to her 911 call that she believed her attacker was the “police.” She then wrote down his last name — or how she thought it was spelled — on a scrap of paper and pointed out that security cameras at the Northwest Side bar had likely captured the attack.

    Yet none of that wound up in the officers’ report. On Tuesday, Obrycka’s lawyer grilled Officer Peter Masheimer about the missing details as he testified at a trial stemming from a lawsuit she brought against the city of Chicago and Anthony Abbate, the off-duty cop who attacked her.

    The trial in federal court comes nearly six years after Abbate attacked Obrycka at Jesse’s Short Stop Inn when she refused to serve him more alcohol and he came behind the bar. Concerned by the police inaction, Obrycka’s lawyers released a videotape of the beating weeks later, causing a firestorm of criticism for the department and leading to charges against Abbate being upgraded to felonies. The veteran officer was later convicted of aggravated battery but spared prison. He was then fired by the department.

    Much of Tuesday’s testimony focused on allegations that Abbate and his friends tried to intimidate and threaten Obrycka and others at the bar into not pursuing charges or going public with the videotape.

    Abbate told the jury that on the day of the attack he was despondent over news that his dog had cancer, and was “on a mission to get totally inebriated.” He recalled attacking a friend at Jesse’s after the friend made a flip remark about killing the dog. But Abbate said he could not remember much of his attack on Obrycka or the approximately 24 hours that followed.

    He backed off initial claims, however, that he had acted in self-defense in attacking Obrycka, saying he changed his mind after viewing the videotape.

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