Officer faces new charges in bartender beating

/ Source: The Associated Press

Prosecutors announced 14 additional felony charges Friday against a Chicago police officer whose videotaped beating of a female bartender made international headlines.

Anthony Abbate, a 12-year department veteran, was charged with seven counts of official misconduct, one count of communicating with a witness, three counts of intimidation and three counts of conspiracy, Cook County State's Attorney's office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said.

Abbate, 38, still faces an earlier felony charge of aggravated battery. He is to be arraigned on the new charges May 16.

The charges stem from a Feb. 19 beating at the Short Stop Inn, a tavern on the city's northwest side, after the 115-pound bartender refused to serve a 250-pound man any more drinks.

The man, who police said was Abbate off duty, is seen in a tavern surveillance video punching and beating the woman and throwing her to the ground. Media outlets around the world have aired or posted the footage.

Abbate appeared in court briefly Friday for a previously scheduled status hearing, when prosecutors told the judge they had filed a superseding indictment to the original assault charge.

Abbate's attorney, Peter Hickey, said he was angry because he had found out from the media that there were new charges, and told reporters after the hearing that he didn't know what the charges were.

Abbate has been placed on leave and police have said they intend to fire him over the alleged beating, which has embarrassed the city and police department.

Police faced intense criticism because Abbate had been charged with a misdemeanor until the videotape became public.

Chicago Police Superintendent Phil Cline, who also had to fend charges that his department was out of control amid reports that another videotape showed six officers beat up four businessmen, announced earlier this month that he was retiring.