A Plymouth woman said her call to 911 ended with her being sued by the police officer who came to help.
She said it's immoral that a cop would sue the victim of a crime, so the I-Team went looking for answers.
Bozena Pryzbylko said she's doing well. Her Plymouth salon is thriving and her personal life has stabilized after what she called a "nasty divorce." That's why she was so surprised when a state marshal came to her door with a lawsuit last month.
"Seven o'clock in the morning the marshal came and he served me the papers," Pryzbylko said.
She frantically flipped through the lawsuit and was stunned by what it contained. She was being sued by a police officer she had called for help nearly a year before.
"His job is to protect the people, not to sue the people," Pryzbylko said.
The call for help came late on the night of June 14, 2013. Pryzbylko returned home late and neighbors told her they'd seen her husband's truck nearby. She said she had a protective order requiring him to stay away, so she dialed 911.
According to Pryzbylko, police came to her home that night and searched it. They didn't find her husband and then left the residence.
It was a traumatic time filled with fear and dozens of calls to 911. On that particular night the officers who came to her door told her their colleagues outside found nothing, and they left.
But they didn't tell her that one officer apparently fell down the stairs that lead from the street to her second floor apartment. That officer is Damien Bilotto, Pryzbylko identified him for the I-Team from pictures posted to Facebook.
Pryzbylko said she saw him often during that time because she so often called police. She said her personal life is stable now, but now she's forced to defend a lawsuit for an injury she didn't even know happened.
"I use those stairs with my daughter every single day to get her to the school bus. Nothing's wrong with those stairs," Pryzbylko said.
The lawsuit was filed by Naugatuck attorney Laura Mooney. The I-Team called her office several times, but she wouldn't take our calls and wouldn't call us back.
There are several defendants including the owners of the property and the polish deli downstairs. The lawsuit said the fall led to chest and shoulder pain, shortness of breath, a torn labrum, a pulmonary embolism and thermal irregularities.
The town's workman's compensation plan paid nearly $40,000 toward medical expenses, but Bilotto is seeking damages for ongoing extreme pain, plus fear and apprehension he says he has about the possibility of future surgery.
The I-team went to Bilotto's Wallingford home to see how he's doing, but no one came to the door.
While she insists the stairs are fine, Pryzbylko said it would be one thing for him to sue her landlord, but to go after the victim of a crime who called police for help, she called that "immoral."
"When you own the building, you have the insurance. I'm the renter, I could have insurance inside my apartment, but not outside, so I'm very surprised that he's suing me," Pryzbylko said. "I understand he got hurt, and I feel sorry he got hurt, but that's why he has his worker's comp."
Even though things have calmed down with her ex-husband, Pryzbylko said she worries about what could happen if she calls 911 again. She said it would have been different if she had done something wrong.
"Let's say my dog would bite him. I have a little dog," Pryzbylko said. "That's different, that happened inside. But outside? I would never think about it that he would do that."
Pryzbylko said she didn't even know he was hurt and those stairs aren't hers to maintain.
For now, she's going to try to defend herself, but she may soon have to pay a lawyer to represent her. Pryzbylko said she hopes Bilotto will call off the case against her before her call to 911 when she feared for her life, ends up costing her thousands.
"My suggestion maybe that's not a good job for him," Pryzbylko said. "Maybe he should change the profession?"
Pryzbylko said she went to Plymouth's mayor, hoping he would reason with the officer, but said she was told there was nothing the town could do. The mayor didn't return the I-Team's calls to find out why.
The I-Team did obtain the police report from that night. It matches what Pryzbylko says happened, talks about canvassing the area and even visiting her ex at his home.
One thing is missing. The injury that was substantial enough to lead to a lawsuit is not mentioned at all in this report.
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