Toledo police officer investigated for drug use

The Blade
Fri, 22 May 2020 19:09:18 GMT

link -- with images

A Toledo police officer retired this week after an investigation was opened into his potential drug usage, the department announced Friday.

Martin Przybysz, 54, a nearly 28-year veteran assigned to the field operations unit, retired from the department Wednesday after his home was searched and an internal affairs investigation launched, according to a news release. The raid came in connection with an overdose death.

“It is beyond disappointing when we find one of our own may partake in the very type of behavior the majority of officers work diligently on preventing and eliminating every day,” Chief George Kral said in a statement. “This conduct undermines the excellent work and dedication to service that the vast majority of officers take great pride in upholding. During my tenure, I have promoted transparency and I am satisfied that when this information was discovered, it was immediately brought to light and appropriate action was taken.”

Joel Monday, 47, was found dead at about 12:10 a.m. May 12 at a residence in the 1700 block of Caxton Lane, according to a police report. While investigating his death, police searched his phone and discovered text conversations between him and Officer Przybysz.

In those conversations, according to a search warrant of Officer Przybysz’s home, he had asked about buying drugs similar to Xanax, steroids, ecstasy, and Viagra.

On Tuesday the same day police discovered the information, officers conducted a search of his West Toledo home in the 600 block of Mayfair Boulevard “where potential evidence was recovered,” according to a police statement. According to a police inventory of Officer Przybysz’s home and vehicle, officers found what they believed to be etizolam, Viagra, a bottle of anabolic steroids, a syringe, and “brown chunks in a vial.”

Charges have not been filed because the evidence needs to be analyzed. When asked why he wasn’t arrested, Toledo police spokesman Lt. Kellie Lenhardt pointed to the need to analyze the evidence and said that police acted more swiftly than normal.

“A lot more was done than had it been John Q. Citizen,” she said. “It's highly unlikely that a search warrant would get done that very same day [for someone  else]."

Internal Affairs subjected Officer Przybysz to a urinalysis on Tuesday. On Wednesday he retired.

Officer Przybysz’s personnel file was not available Friday. In 2004 he was suspended from the department after he was accused of hitting a suspect on the head with a flashlight during an incident in 2003.