Cops’ testimony sheds little light on phone calls after fellow officer Abbate’s attack on bartender
BY KARA SPAK Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org October 26, 2012 5:26PM
Updated: November 28, 2012 6:09AM
Disgraced former Chicago cop Anthony Abbate’s partner Joseph Boroff is a real chatterbox, a man who likes to chew the fat about “girls and cars,” a series of current and retired Chicago police officers testified Friday at the civil trial stemming from Abbate’s brutal 2007 beating of a bartender.
“You talk to Joe, and Joe never really knows when to shut up,” said Detective Neil J. Francis, Jr., who is also Boroff’s cousin.
But Boroff and seven fellow officers, two of them retired, had little to say to the jury Friday when asked about a series of phone calls that started shortly after Abbate’s attack on Karolina Obrycka at Jesse’s Shortstop Inn.
Working off of subpoenaed phone records, Obrycka’s attorney Terry Ekl asked Boroff and the other officers if they remembered making the dozens of phone calls, such as the 3 a.m., 50-minute-long phone conversation between an off-duty Boroff and an on-duty Francis on Feb. 20, 2007, hours after the Feb. 19, 2007 beating.
“That’s like five years ago,” Boroff told Ekl. “I couldn’t remember.”
Boroff did recount a conversation he had around 11:19 p.m. Feb. 19, 2007 with Abbate in which Abbate “sounded like he was happy.”
“He was kind of jovial,” Boroff said. “He mentioned something about there being a scuffle. ... He didn’t sound concerned about it so I wasn’t concerned.”
The other officers, some who were on a police softball team with Abbate, also said they couldn’t remember making the various phone calls or what was discussed.
Several of the officers testified that calls from Boroff were not unusual because he liked to talk, often in the middle of the night because the unusual hours they worked.
When asked by Chicago Corporation Council Scott Jebson if he was asked by Abbate “to enter into this conspiracy with me to cover this all up,” Boroff said no. The other officers had the same reply to similar questions.
Abbate previously testified he was so loaded on Rumple Minze schnapps, blackberry brandy and Canadian whiskey that he had no recollection of the beating or the day after. He previously testified that the calls directly after the attack were simply a case of “drunk dialing.”
Abbate and the City of Chicago are being sued by Obrycka, who alleges that the police department engaged in a cover up of the beating, which was videotaped and then went viral.
Obrycka is expected to take the stand on Monday.