In an infamous video, Karolina Obrycka was the feisty little Chicago bartender who seemed unafraid of a few drunks giving her lip, snapping at Anthony Abbate and telling him to get out from behind her bar. Until the drunken off-duty cop hurled her to the floor and the punches and kicks started flying. Yesterday, reports the Chicago Tribune, Obrycka, watched a judge let the suspended cop walk out of court with probation and no time behind bars for his attack on her. She’s no longer a fearless person, she said. She dreads being alone, she has trouble trusting people, and she fears the police.
Some legal experts criticized Judge John Fleming’s sentencing decision. Because Obrycka did not suffer serious physical injuries and Abbate had no criminal history, most lawyers weren’t surprised. Obrycka was more angry that Abbate has never apologized to her. In fact, his lawyer continued blaming her for the incident during the sentencing hearing yesterday. Said the judge: “If I believed sending Anthony Abbate to prison would stop people from getting drunk and hitting other people, I’d sentence him to the maximum, but I don’t believe that is the case.” Noting the case has received worldwide attention via television and the Internet, he said such publicity had no bearing on the law.