Anthony Abbate Trial Summary

The Chicago Chapter of the National Organization for Women is pleased to report that the Police Review Board has decided that Anthony Abbate will be discharged. While this is not the ideal punishment for a violent felon, we are pleased that the board recognizes that Abbate is not fit to serve in this city. This decision sends the message that Judge John Fleming could not: the abuse of women and girls in Chicago must stop! The police are not above the law!

We wish the best for Karolina Obryka and her family.

Click here to read the decision…

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Respondent, Police Officer
Anthony Abbate, Star No. 18601, as a result of having been found
guilty of charges in Police Board Case No. 08 PB 2676, be and
hereby is discharged from his position as a police officer with
the Department of Police, and from the services of the City of

Chicago NOW was present at the final police review board trial. Be sure to read our summary in the blog section.

Anthony Abbate Trial Summary

Chicago NOW attended today’s long overdue police review board trial of Anthony Abbate.  The entire proceeding lasted from approximately 10:45am to 3pm.  I was able to see Anthony, Karolina and several other key witnesses and we learned some new and interesting details.

The transcript and video of the trial will now be turned over to the board, who will review the trial and make a decision when they meet in December.  Hopefully there will not be a delay due to the holidays.

The first person to take the stand was Anthony Abbate.  He’s just as large and red-faced in person as he seems on TV.  He invoked his 5th amendment right and refused to answer any questions.  One can only assume that his reluctance to answer questions is due to the fact that he is appealing his conviction.  During the questioning, the prosecution showed various video clips from the day of the assault beginning at 4pm, when Abbate originally came to the bar, and ending around 8:30 or 9pm when he fled after the beating.

The video is much longer than anything that has been released in the news.  It chronicles the entire day beginning with Anthony entering the bar early in the evening and immediately attacking his friend Mike.  Apparently Mike had insulted Anthony’s dog earlier that day, so Abbate came into the bar to both verbally and physically assault Mike.  The bartender on duty at the time, Peggy, tells Abbate to leave after the altercation.

Around 2 hours later Abbate returns to the bar and appears to be intoxicated.  It’s not clear if he was already drunk earlier in the day.  He’s shown drinking a high ball, some beer and then taking shots.  He spends most of the night singing off key to the Eagle’s greatest hits and harassing his friend Jimmy by punching him, putting him in a headlock and repeatedly taking his hat… yeah, taking his hat away.  As the woman next to me remarked, this is not my kind of fun.  After a while, Jimmy goes to the other side of the bar to avoid Abbate’s obnoxious behavior.

Apparently this was the first time that Karolina and Abbate had met at the bar although he was a regular patron.  As one can assume, Abbate tries desperately to win the attention of Karolina by calling her pet names and paying her empty compliments.  As he drinks, he starts playing a game where he flexes his muscles and announces that he’s Chicago Police… it’s really gross.  He continues to “flex” and tries to tempt Karolina to touch his body, but she’s really not interested in playing along and attempts to ignore his requests.

Abbate makes two attempts to come behind the bar; the second attempt results in the brutal beating of Karolina.  What shocked me even more is that we now know that the patrons in the bar were all acquainted and none of them attempted to do anything to intervene with the beating outside of telling Abbate that he should stop.

Most of the witnesses, including the victim of the first assault and the other bar tender, pled the 5th and refused to answer questions.  However, we did get to hear belligerent arguments and accusations from Mike, Abbate’s friend and victim.  He was really the least pleasant person I have ever encountered and I get the feeling that he’s hiding something.  Mike began with his outrage over the lack of bottled water and ended by accusing the prosecutor of plotting against him and ruining his pheasant hunting trip.

The most interesting details learned during the trial:

  1. Abbate allegedly sent a friend to try to pay off Karolina before she filed charges.
  2. Abbate threatened to harass patrons and intentionally give out DUI’s to exiting patrons when he learned that the bar owner intended to release the security tape.
  3. Abbate knew he was being taped while the beating occurred.  His friend Jimmy told him he was on camera just before delivering the first punch to Karolina.
  4. Abbate allegedly threatened to plant cocaine on the other bartender, Peggy, who came to Karolina’s defense.

The prosecution delivered closing arguments and now we will wait for the Police Review Board to review the tapes and make a decision.  The Board only meets once a month, so we will likely hear back from them in December or January.

CNOW will keep you posted as more details develop…

October 8th – Anthony Abbate 3rd Status Hearing

The 3rd status hearing was supposed to be today.  Unfortunately, the defense decided to go to a deposition instead.  The judge and the prosecutor were instructed to proceed without the defense, but the judge has decided that he wants to schedule yet another status hearing for October 8th.

Members of Chicago NOW will again be in attendance at the Anthony Abbate police review board hearing at the police review board on October 8th.  Updates on the status of the case will be provided soon!

Anthony Abbate – 2nd Status Hearing & Recap

The second status hearing for Anthony Abbate was held this morning at 10am. Here is a wrap up of the few key decisions made:

  • Anthony Abbate has filed an appeal to overturn his criminal conviction. An appeal could affect the use of the   criminal conviction in the police review board trial. The prosecution has been given 14 days to draft a legal memo re: employment discharge in case of an appeal of criminal conviction.
  • The appeal is still pending, thus no details are available to the public at this time.
  • For now the trial date has been set for November 16, 17, and 23rd at 10am. However, the judge wants to reconvene October 1st for another status hearing to discuss the appeal or the possibility of Abbate’s voluntary resignation. There is a possibility that after discussion with the board, the judge may decide to delay the trial until December.

Just to show how frustrating this process has been, let’s take a look at the timeline of this case.   Anthony Abbate, a criminal and a cop, has been employed by the Chicago Police Department for 2 ½ years since he committed a felony. Bilicenii Vechi What does it take to fire a police officer who has clearly broken the law?

February 2007 – Anthony Abbate viciously attacks Karolina Obrycka. The beating is recorded by a security camera.

June 1, 2009 – Anthony Abbate appears in court; he is charged with aggravated battery in a public place, official misconduct, intimidation and communicating with a witness. His defense lawyer claims “She grabbed him and she tossed him around … like a rag doll.”

June 2, 2009 – Judge John Fleming convicts Anthony Abbate of felony aggravated battery but dismisses all other charges. With this conviction, he faces up to 5 years in prison.

June 23, 2009 – Judge John Fleming sentences Abbate to 2 years of probation and anger management classes.

July 7, 2009 – First Police Review Board Status Hearing.

August 19, 2009 – Second Police Review Board Status Hearing.

October 1, 2009 – Third Police Review Board Status Hearing

November 16, 2009 – Possible Trial

Tonight! – Chicago NOW Open House Chicago NOW Open House

@ EP Theater

A Celebration of Feminist Art

Please Join Us for the Chicago NOW Open House!  Meet the board members and discuss how you can get involved!

We will be talking about the Abbate Case along with our key issues:  Ending Violence Against Women, Reproductive Justice, Economic Equity, LGBTQ Rights and Women’s Health

Featured Artists:
Deva Suckerman – Monica J Brown – Angela Komperda – Soni Sinha

Friday Featured Musicians:
Deanna Devore – Michelle Morales – The Lost Cartographers

Saturday Featured Musicians:
Jess Yoakum– Martha Berner – Heather Perry – Rachele Eve

And Many More!

1820 S. Halsted
Enter in Back

July 10th – 7 to 10pm
July 11th – 4 to 7pm


Stay Late Friday for the Days Off CD Release Show!
Email w/ questions