"It was pretty much a blackout that night, " Abbate told jurors when he took the stand Monday. "I had no concern about anything. I was highly intoxicated. "
Abbate was still on the force, but off-duty in 2007 when he came behind the bar and attacked the 125-pound Karolina Obrycka during a drunken rage; she had refused to serve him another drink. Surveillance cameras at the bar, Jesse's on the Northwest Side, caught the 2007 beating and the video went viral.
Obrycka is suing Abbate and the City of Chicago. She claims she is a victim of an attempted cover-up by Chicago police. Her attorney argued Monday that the civil trial is about breaking the so-called "code of silence" within the Chicago Police Department.
Within 24 hours after the beating, Abbate made 100 phone calls to friends and members of the Chicago Police Department. He wasn't charged with misdemeanor battery for more than a month.
He was convicted of aggravated battery in criminal court and fired from the Chicago Police Department.
Abbate's attorney said the former cop is a changed man.