CHICAGO – Chicago police adhere to a code of silence protecting fellow officers, a federal jury ruled Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by a female bartender whose videotaped beating by a drunken off-duty officer went viral online.
Jurors awarded $850,000 in damages to the bartender, Karolina Obrycka, who was beaten in February 2007 by Anthony Abbate, who was off-duty and admittedly drunk at the time. Surveillance video showed the hulking Abbate pushing Obrycka to the ground behind the bar at Jesse’s Shortstop Inn, then repeatedly punching and kicking her.
Abbate was convicted of aggravated battery in 2009 and sentenced to probation.
At the civil trial, Obrycka asked jurors to hold Abbate and the city liable for damages to compensate her for any pain or distress she suffered. The core issue they had to decide was whether the police culture emboldened him and led him to act with impunity in attacking her.
Plane strikes house in Mississippi; 3 die
Authorities say all three people aboard a plane were killed when it crashed into a house in Jackson, Miss.
The Piper PA-32 single-engine plane went down Tuesday evening in a neighborhood of modest, single-family homes near Hawkins Field Airport.
Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham-Stewart confirmed three people died. She said dental records or DNA would be needed to confirm their identities.
A hospital spokesman says one patient from the scene was in good condition at University of Mississippi Medical Center.
Woman convicted in day-care fire death
A Houston woman was convicted of murder Tuesday in the death of one of four children who died in a fire at her home day care after she left them alone with hot oil on the stove while she shopped at Target.
Jurors found Jessica Tata guilty of one count of felony murder after deliberating for about six hours over two days. She faces a sentence of up to life in prison.
Saudi student guilty of jihad bomb plot
A former Texas college student from Saudi Arabia was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday for trying to make a bomb for use in a religious attack, possibly targeting a former U.S. president.
Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari was sentenced in Amarillo, where jurors convicted him in June of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. Prosecutors say he had collected bomb-making material in his apartment and researched targets, including the Dallas home of former President George W. Bush.
A handwritten journal found in his apartment included notes that he believed it was time for jihad, a Muslim term for holy war.
Driving on sidewalk to avoid bus? Idiotic
A Cleveland woman puffed on a cigarette, wore headphones, and ignored passers-by and crowds of reporters as she stood for an hour Tuesday under a judge’s order holding a sign that said, Only an Idiot Would Drive on the Sidewalk to Avoid a School Bus.
A Municipal Court judge had ordered 32-year-old Shena Hardin to serve the highly public sentence Tuesday and today for the Sept. 11 citation after she was caught on camera driving on a sidewalk to pass a Cleveland school bus that was unloading children.