Two years ago, Chicago Police Officer Anthony Abbate -- a gelatinous Kuiper Belt Object-sized "public servant" who, using the same kind of legerdemain federal bookkeepers employ in low-balling the budget deficit, lists his weight as 250 pounds -- was caught on video delivering a drunken beating to a 115-pound female bartender named Karolina Obrycka.
After the drunken Abbate -- a member of the Chicago PD's corruption-saturated Special Operations Section -- was told that he was cut off for the evening, he became foul-mounted and abusive and threw a garbage can.
It was at that point that Obrycka, displaying more fortitude than an entire platoon of Chicago's "Finest," got into Abbate's face and tried to escort him from the bar before anyone got hurt or any damage was done. (According to one account, she actually intervened to prevent Abbate from beating up a male bar patron.)
At one point, Abbate lost his footing, and then quickly lost what remained of his self-control.
Infuriated, Abbate threw Miss Obrycka to the floor and pummeled her mercilessly while several nominally male bar patrons conspicuously declined to come to her aid.
Abbate is a bully, which means he's also a coward. At his trial, Abbate permitted his attorney to frame the incident as a matter of self-defense: Yes, this rugged, heroic street cop was simply trying to fend off the aggressive behavior of a woman less than half his size.
"Defenseless? I think not," exclaimed defense attorney Peter Hickey. "She tossed him around like a rag doll. If not for a garbage can that held him up against the bar, she would have had him on the ground" -- where heaven only knows what horrible fate would have befallen the hapless off-duty police officer.
Of course, Abbate's unreliable balance was product of his inebriated condition. Shortly after Abbate finally left the bar, several of his CPD colleagues visited Karolina in an attempt to bribe or intimidate her into silence; one of them reportedly threatened to "discover" drugs in her car, or arrest customers on bogus DUI charges.
Abbate is a second generation Chicago cop. His brother Terry is also a police officer and a notorious bar thug: He was involved in a separate videotaped incident in which six off-duty Chicago cops beat up four visiting businessmen.
A month ago, in a courtroom packed with Chicago police officers, a judge acquitted three officers accused of aggravated battery in that incident (Terry Abbate was not among them). The verdict in that bench trial no doubt encouraged Abbate and reinforced his audacity in pressing a claim of "self defense" against the wispy -- but very brave -- young lady he beat to a pulp.
It's no exaggeration to say that Chicago's municipal government was probably less corrupt and better administered when Al Capone ran the city.