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Off-Duty Chicago Police Officer Accused of Beating Up Female Bartender

An off-duty police officer in street clothes was caught on video by a bar surveillance camera beating up a female bartender half his size, authorities said.

Anthony Abbate, a 12-year veteran of the Chicago force, was charged with aggravated battery and placed on leave pending an internal investigation in the attack Feb. 19 as several bystanders watched, department spokeswoman Monique Bond said Wednesday. She said Abbate is expected to be fired.

The video from Jessie's Short Stop Inn Tavern, shown on television around the nation, shows the 250-pound Abbate shouting at the 115-pound bartender, then walking behind the bar and punching, kicking and throwing her to the ground.

The woman, whose name authorities haven't released, suffered bruises to her head, neck, back and lower body. Her attorney, Terry Ekl, did not immediately return a call Wednesday. He told WFLD-TV that the attack began after the bartender refused to serve Abbate.

Prosecutors say the bartender tried to stop him from attacking another patron. Abbate chased the patron behind the bar, at one point wielding a chair, according to Tandra Simonton, a spokeswoman for the Cook County state's attorney's office.

Abbate, 38, was arrested Tuesday night at his home. Bond said authorities were notified of the incident on Feb. 21 but were unable to locate Abbate until mid-March.

He was held on $70,000 bond Wednesday. Abbate's lawyer, William Fahey, did not return calls seeking comment. He told the Chicago Tribune that his client had completed a substance abuse treatment program and had never been disciplined since joining the police department in 1994.