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Police: IL man accused of killing his mother with a sword previously had illegal guns confiscated

AR-15. (Michael Guio/Flickr)

A Park Ridge man charged in the stabbing death of his mother last month had illegal firearms, including at least two that he made himself from parts he got online, confiscated from his home twice in the last two years, the most recent instance taking place just two weeks before the murder, reports from the Park Ridge Police Department allege.

David Krystyniak, 47, of the 1900 block of Courtland Avenue, was charged with first degree murder on July 29 after a police officer found the body of David’s mother, Judith Krystyniak, inside a garbage container in the living room of their Courtland Avenue home, Kaminski said during a July 31 press conference.

Police reports say, however, that police had twice taken illegal guns from Krystyniak’s home, once in late 2017 and once weeks before the killing.

According to a July 14 police report, David Krystyniak voluntarily gave police an AR-15 rifle and a Glock 22 handgun when officers made a visit on an unrelated matter to the home he shared with his mother.

According to the report, Krystyniak had called 911 on the morning of July 14 because he believed his mother had overdosed on medication, but responding officers found her alert, coherent and showing no signs of being medicated.

While speaking with Krystyniak, one of the officers asked him about guns that police had confiscated from his home on a previous occasion in 2017, and Krystyniak replied that he had made his own guns after his other firearms were taken, the police report said.

According to the report, Krystyniak said he had built the AR-15 and Glock 22 from parts he had purchased online and had delivered to his house through the mail. Both guns were unloaded, the report said.

In the police report, the responding officer noted that the AR-15 “appeared to be fully functional” but Park Ridge Police Chief Frank Kaminski later, after more analysis, described both firearms as non-functional.

Two boxes of AR-15 parts were also confiscated by police, and three airgun pistols that resembled actual handguns were found in the home as well, police said.

A year and a half earlier, in December 2017, police seized two AR-15s and a Glock 9mm handgun from Krystyniak after he showed officers the contents of a gun safe in his bedroom, a police report said. Police also confiscated the magazines from the AR-15s and “other weapons” that were not identified in the report.

Krystyniak is scheduled to be arraigned next month on the July first degree murder charge. He will plead not guilty, said his public defender Wendy Schilling, who did not immediately respond to a message seeking further comment.

The reason for the officers’ visit to the home in 2017 is not clear. The police department redacted a portion of the police report. The report does note that the police department’s social worker was present.

According to police, the guns and gun parts were confiscated during both visits to Krystyniak’s home because he did not have a valid Illinois Firearm Owners Identification Card. No charges were filed against Krystyniak in either case, according to police.

Sgt. Jacqueline Cepeda, a spokeswoman for the Illinois State Police, said the department could not discuss whether Krystyniak had ever applied for a FOID card. A person must have a valid FOID card to possess any home-manufactured guns that meet the definition of a firearm under the FOID act, she said.

A police officer and social worker, driving by the Krystyniak home on July 29, noticed groceries strewn about the driveway and asked David Krystyniak if they could come in, police said. They discovered the woman’s body inside, according to police.

Judith Krystyniak had been stabbed multiple times in the chest, Kaminski said, and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled her death a homicide. The murder weapon was identified as a samurai sword, according to Cook County Circuit Court documents.

Kaminski said the sword was the only weapon investigators found in the home following Judith Krystyniak’s death. A hammer was also found, but police do not believe it was used in the killing, the police chief said.

Police have not determined whether the murder of Judith Krystyniak was premeditated and a motive has not been established, Kaminski said.

David Krystyniak is currently being held in Cook County Jail without bail.

David Krystyniak was known to the police department and department’s social worker “due to his mental health illness,” police said in a press release issued shortly after his arrest. Kaminski said a social worker had been working with the family for several years and offering them services.

“There were connections between our social worker and the family,” he said, declining to speak more about that aspect of the case, citing the state’s Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act.

According to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, those with mental health conditions who pose “a clear and present danger to self, others or the community” can be prohibited from obtaining an Illinois FOID card.

Kaminski said there was no indication at the time police visited the Krystyniak home that David Krystyniak was planning to use the firearms inside to commit violent acts, or that he was planning to harm his mother.

“Nobody’s got a crystal ball for this stuff; you wish you could prevent everything,” the police chief said. “We still don’t have a motive, we don’t know what happened that night or in the days before to trigger this. We don’t know. But there were no indications of any violence prior to this.”

But police reports show that others in the community had reported problems with Krystyniak over the years.

In December 2017, shortly before the first batch of guns were removed from Krystyniak’s home, a representative of a car dealership contacted police to say that employees had received “a series of disturbing emails,” from Krystyniak, some of which “bordered on threatening,” a police report said. Krystyniak also was accused of calling the business after he had been told not to, police said.

The dealership did not want to file a criminal complaint, police said, and no arrest was made, though the police department social worker was reportedly notified.

In a 2015 police report, a neighbor of the Krystyniaks alleged that David “had always caused disturbances in the area” and the man also reported that his elderly mother was fearful of Krystyniak.

In 2005, Krystyniak, then 33, was charged with battery after he allegedly attacked a 17-year-old boy in the street a few blocks from his home, according to police.

According to the police report, the teen said he was driving south on Courtland Avenue at Granville when his car was struck from behind. The teen told police that the driver of the other car, whom police identified as Krystyniak, got out, charged him, pulled open the driver’s side door and began punching him. A witness helped to hold Krystyniak down until officers arrived, police said.


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