Pilot sues RCPD officers over “drunk flying” charges

A former commercial airline pilot who was arrested at Rapid City Regional Airport for allegedly trying to fly while legally drunk is now suing the Rapid City police officers who made the arrest.

Russell Duszak says he can’t find another job as a pilot since he was, as his lawsuit alleges, wrongly arrested.

Duczak was scheduled to fly as the first officer on a Skywest flight in late October 2016.

He was removed from the flight after a TSA officer reported to her superior that she thought she smelled alcohol on Duczak when the pilots went through their screening.

According to the lawsuit, after he was removed from the flight and while being interviewed by police, Duczak “demanded a blood test to prove his innocence.” The lawsuit claims that request was denied.

It also alleges that the officers did not have sufficient evidence to detain and arrest Duczak, and that they “defamed and slandered the professional and personal reputation of Mr. Duczak” when they spoke to the media about his case.

The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages but does not specify an amount.

Rapid City Police Chief Karl Jegeris, in a series of tweets responding to the lawsuit called it frivolous, adding he’s surprised a local attorney would take this case.

Categories: Local News