PLATTSMOUTH, Neb. (WOWT) – Earlier in October, a pickup smashed through a new pizza shop in Plattsmouth. The owners question how the case has been handled since then.
Papa Reno Pizza was open for less than two days when the owners’ dream was smashed right before their eyes.
“This whole wall basically exploded which was loudly terrifying, but he just didn’t stop realizing he hit something he continued into the next wall making that wall explode into the parking lot then peeled out here to leave,” said owner Tony Foster.
”You’ll never forget what it sounded like, it sounded like an explosion,” said owner Charissa Foster.
Charissa and Tony Foster, along with their son, were working that Saturday when a pickup gave their pizza shop an unwanted drive-through.
The crash was not only destructive, it could have been deadly. A customer sitting inside left just eight minutes before the pickup crashed through the wall.
The pickup drove off a nearby roundabout and smashed into a shop across the parking lot. Then the driver backed up and crashed all the way into the pizza shop dining room. The stunned owners waited for what was next when the pickup drives out.
“Obviously I was yelling at him asking him what he was thinking,” said Tony Foster. “And he said ‘it’s okay I have insurance,’ and then he tried to tell me his foot got stuck on the accelerator because of some boot he was wearing.”
The driver stops and a rescue unit is called, but he is not taken to the hospital. Charissa wonders why not at least for a blood test.
”I saw a flask in an evidence bag the cops were taking with them,” Charissa said.
The Cass County Attorney reviewed the police report that lists evidence police found in the pickup driven by 57-year-old Shawn Boryca.
”There was a can of alcohol that was warm to the touch and no alcohol in it and a flask that had alcohol in it, but again there were no signs that drinking had any effect on his driving behaviors that night,” said Cass County Attorney Chris Perrone.
The county attorney says the pickup driver passed six impairment indicators including the nystagmus eye test. The officer didn’t detect an odor of alcohol or slurred speech.
There was no breathalyzer or blood test.
”Neither, no, they wouldn’t get to those tests unless there were signs prior of alcohol use,” said Perrone. “And there were none.”
Shawn Boryca, who drove into two buildings, was issued four misdemeanor tickets. Willful reckless driving, criminal mischief, open alcohol container, and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.
“This man is still free, he’s a danger to people, he shouldn’t be on the street,” said Charissa.
Boryca was not arrested and the shop owners say he left with someone who came to pick him up.
”He didn’t get any special treatment, I can guarantee you that,” said Perrone. “And we won’t get any special treatment once we do a full evaluation of the case, we’ll file charges we think we can prove.”
An email from Plattsmouth Police Chief Steve Rathman says the offenses didn’t occur in the presence of the officer who has a discretion of a ticket rather than arrest, and there was no risk of the driver Shawn Boryca not showing up to court.
“He should be responsible for everything, this whole building, this is all his fault,” Charissa said.
Charissa also hasn’t heard from Boryca or his insurance.
Boryca’s defense attorney later provided a claim number. The Fosters have their own attorney involved to help with insurance claims.
“Everything we have is invested in this and it’s to the wayside, so we are just trying to make it until its back and rebuilt,” Tony Foster said.
While awaiting a settlement to start repairs, the couple sees a reminder of the crash in the dining area. Mud flaps from the pickup that destroyed it.
“Just makes me angry,” Charissa said.
The health department will inspect the kitchen cleanup soon, so less than a month after the pickup crashed through their livelihood, the owners of Papa Reno could reopen for pickup later this week.
“We’ll succeed,” Charissa said. “Once we are open, we know the town will have our backs.”
The attorney for Shawn Boryca says he will enter a not guilty plea at his first court appearance in late November.
The defense attorney says Boryca has a severe medical issue with his leg and foot that caused the crash. Ten days after the crash, Boryca began serving four months on house arrest for a second-offense drunk driving conviction two years ago—a sentence that his attorney says was delayed by the same medical issue.