1. Archive

Deputies accuse cyclist of having crack cocaine

Another crack cocaine arrest was made Friday night on Pine Hill Road, as authorities continued their battle to loosen the hold the highly addictive drug has on the neighborhood.

But John Gryca, 38, apparently thought swallowing the evidence would keep him out of jail, authorities say.

If so, he thought wrong.

Gryca came to the attention of Pasco sheriff's deputies patrolling the area because of the unsteady way he was operating his red bicycle _ weaving back and forth, according to a report by Deputy Steve Greiner.

When deputies ordered Gryca to stop, he fell off his bicycle, scraping his legs and hands, the report said.

Gryca appeared intoxicated, the report said.

Deputies didn't order Gryca to submit to field sobriety tests, the report said, because they feared he would injure himself trying to perform them.

As deputies placed Gryca under arrest, he appeared to be trying to hide something in his mouth, the report said.

"It appeared to be a piece of crack cocaine," Greiner wrote in the report. "I tried to remove the object, but he struggled and swallowed the object."

Gryca ignored Greiner's orders to spit it out and clenched his teeth, almost biting the deputy's fingertips, the report said, then swallowed the object.

That didn't keep deputies from searching Gryca for crack cocaine, however.

Deputies had Gryca swab his mouth with a piece of cotton, then tested the cotton and found flecks of cocaine, the report said.

Gryca was taken to a nearby hospital for a checkup, then to the county jail in Land O'Lakes.

Gryca, of 5433 Eric Drive in Port Richey, was charged with possession of cocaine, tampering with evidence, driving under the influence and refusing to sign a citation. He was being held in the county jail in lieu of $21,000 bail.