Chicago Pays Bartender Record Settlement

This blonde chick’s name is Karolina Obrycka – a bartender at Jesse’s Shortstop Inn, in Chicago. The overly concerned looking dude on the right – who was apparently never informed that misfitting JCPenney dress shirts and 80′s Paul Teutel Sr. hair styles are out – is none other than [former] Chicago Police Officer Anthony Abbate. Oh? You say you haven’t heard of or seen this this cute couple in action? For those of you who haven’t, take a look at love-fest that ensues between the two when P.O. Abbate has a few drinks in him. This incident and video is from 2007.

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Ahh! The perils perks of bartending… one can only enjoy so much O.S.H.A.-approved joy.

For his kindness, the shining example of all-things-good in Chicago’s Cop-Land was eventually arrested and slapped with several charges. The only ones that stuck were: (1) Aggravated Battery and (2) Official Misconduct. Abbate skipped the jury and opted for a decision by Circuit Judge John Flemming. He was cleared of the misconduct charge as he apparently never waived his badge or otherwise identified himself as a L.E.O. Hulkster Jr. was, however, convicted of the battery charge; for which he was sentenced to (a) two years probation (b) home curfew of 8am – 6pm  and (c) 130 hours of Community Service. Oh yeah – he got shit-canned from his job - 3 years later.

Upon sentencing, Judge Fleming – obviously a fan of Animal House, and perhaps even trying to upstate the final courthouse drama in A Few Good Men – belts out, arguably, the greatest one-liner ever uttered by an actual judge, in an actual legal proceeding:

Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son…

You’ve got to love folks who [whilst being fair] insist on keeping it real – effectively saying “fuck off” to Political Correctness.

Unfortunately for Tony, what positively buried him, was the tale of the tape. The irrefutable recorded video and audio was hella damning and sympathy invoking – ala Rodney King. There was simply no denying what had happened. A monstrous 250 pound, drunk buffoon (reportedly drowning his sorrows over his cancer-ridden dog), is cut off, illegally trespasses behind someone else’s bar (inherently threatening them), and pounds the shit out of a 125 pound employee – a woman. That has little to do with being in Law Enforcement. The dude is simply a belligerent, violent, drunken asshole on a power trip. I’ve served many like him. The additional, severely disturbing, problem is that he’s a cop – someone sworn to uphold and enforce the law both on the job and off, a public servant. Sorry my dude but surely you were aware when you took the oath, that you’d be held to a higher standard than citizens, right?

Anthony can now look forward to a long and prosperous career as vaunted Harley Davidson Junior Service Technician – where his significant earnings will come in quite handy in buying even more ill-fitting, 80′s formal ware from Sears.

Miss Obrycka later sued Abbate and the Chicago P.D. claiming there was a well-orchestrated cover-up and “Blue Wall of Silence,” in effect to ensure damage control. Umm… ok. That’s not a grand revelation. It’s an unwritten rule in just about every single police department nationwide. The “system” was an attempt to marginalize any repercussions coming Abbate’s way, assuring he doesn’t do jail time, and allowing him to keep his job and benefits. The difference, in this trial at least, is that this is one of those extremely rare times that that the coverup as proven to exist in a court of law and subsequently publicized.

Instead of playing the sympathy and dedicated service cards, Abbate’s lawyer – Peter Hickey – (clearly a graduate of a prestigious, Ivy League law school) vomited what  can only be described as a genius defense – replete with make-the-jury-laugh-and-hate-you-simultaneously lines like:

She grabbed him and she tossed him around … like a rag doll,

She grabbed him (and) almost had him on the ground.

So last week or so, the civil trial finally ended and the verdict came down in favor of the defendant. Karolina (and her defense team) were awarded $850,000. Chicago taxpayer’s can now thank Mr. Abbate and the Chicago P.D. for the foolishness that is “protecting their own,” and taking nearly one million dollars out of the tax coffers. That’s just the punitive award. It’s hard to quantify the years of proceeding expenses including time and materials – stuff like (1) D.A., P.O., judge, and bailiff salaries (2) facilities expenses (3) transportation… blaa, blaa, blaa… But, I suspect that the overall financial impact to the City is well into the millions. The impact to Chicago P.D. moral and potential shakeups is probably significant as well. I bet you, however, that very, very little will change – going forward – in terms of cops looking out for each others’ backs when one of them has fucked  up. It’s just the way it is.

Lookit: I’m no ardent defender of cops by any means. I don’t have unconditional love for them. A large number of them are jackasses and dumbasses severely drunk on power. That’s coming from someone who has several close friends and some family within their ranks and a man who – if he could go back 20 years – would have likely joined their ranks. Even as an adult, and furthermore as a minority, I’ve been at the receiving end – a few times – of some pretty immoral/unethical/unfair police treatment to put it mildly. However, I do have a deep, personal, respect for what they do and what they are faced with every single day and night of their lives. The job is not a cakewalk by any means and you’re simply never “off the clock.” I sincerely believe that the majority of Police Officers are honest, do-the-right-thing kind of folks. I know and value the fact that my freedom and way of life are largely due to cops. I’ve had my share of not-so-pleasant run-ins with Law Enforcement when I was a youth and a whole lot more reckless.

That said, Abbate may not have gotten any jail time (and many folks have voiced their anger about that), but I’m simply glad he’s off the force and no longer able to impart a black eye on either the Chicago P.D. or “lowly” bartenders (at least no longer in an “official” capacity.

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3 thoughts on “Chicago Pays Bartender Record Settlement

  1. Man, what about the dickless aholes that are standing by and doing nothing? A guy sort of runs over at the end and breaks it up after the dude is winding down. One punch, one bottle to the head would have given the girl a chance to get away.
    The majority of my bar crowd would have devoured someone if they tried to pull something like this

    • They’re scumbags. Even as a complete stranger, and with the potential of getting hurt myself or jailed, I would have beat is ass to the ground had I witnessed it. Hell yeah. Same at my place.

  2. I had the same reaction of dumbfounded disbelief that nobody ran to her aid. A bar-scuffle is one thing, but when a member of staff is the subject of violence (let alone a female one) and the patrons do nothing, that’s just embarrassing. If that happened in my bar, the court case would be the least of Abbate’s problems.

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