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Prosecutors say video cameras at Jesse's Shortstop Inn Tavern at 5425 W. Belmont Ave. caught Officer Anthony Abbate, 38, a 12-year veteran of the Lincoln Police District, punching and kicking bartender Karolina Obrycka, 24, on Feb.19. The tape has been played nationwide.
Even as Cline was set to discuss the new policy, officers on the Northwest Side apparently ticketed the cars of reporters who were covering a court hearing for Anthony Abbate. Abbate was also apparently taken into the courthouse through a private entrance to thwart media access.
These allegations also have reached Cline, who is now demanding an investigation and an explanation into what happened, Bond said.
Deputy Supt. Charles Williams is going to personally handle the investigation and was said to be very concerned about what transpired at the hearing.
Today prosecutors dropped misdemeanor charges filed against Abbate and they set an April 27th court hearing on the felony aggravated battery charge he now faces.
A clean-shaved Abbate, wearing a charcoal gray suit, appeared before the judge for around 30 seconds.
Abbate was off-duty at the time of the alleged beating. Obrycka's attorney, Terry Ekl, said the bartender had refused to serve Abbate any more drinks, prompting the attack.
Police initially charged Abbate with misdemeanor battery, but the Cook County state's attorney's office later upgraded the charges to felony aggravated battery. Abbate was released from jail on $70,000 bond shortly after his arrest last week.
If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison, Cook County state's attorneys office spokesman Andy Conklin said.
Cline's expected announcement also comes in the wake of another case that came to light less than a week after Abbate was charged, four businessmen claimed they were beaten by off-duty officers at the Jefferson Tap and Grille, at 325 N. Jefferson St. in December.
Attorney Sally Saltzberg said one of the businessmen was beaten so severely that he required facial reconstructive surgery, and she said when other bar patrons called 911, uniformed police officers came to the scene, but left after being waved off by the officers who allegedly attacked the patrons.
Saltzberg said that alleged beating was also caught on videotape, but the tape in that case has not been released.