Law student dedicates 300-mile bike marathon to slain detectiveWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
Mark Maruszak stays busy.
He graduates soon from the University of Toledo’s College of Law, interns at the Toledo City Prosecutor’s Office and serves as Element 112’s beverage director. Despite his schedule, Maruszak decided to participate in the upcoming Police Unity Tour, a 300-mile
“Whenever an officer falls in the line of duty, the Police Unity Tour reaches out to family and offers financial or emotional support,” Maruszak said.
The Police Unity Tour, which started in 1997, also raises funds for updating the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. Working with police officers in his job at the prosecutor’s office inspired Maruszak to do the marathon, he said.
“They do a pretty demanding job and it’s pretty thankless sometimes and it’s just a way for me to give back,” he said.
The ride starts in East Hanover, N.J., on May 9 and ends in Washington, D.C., on May 12. Most riders have been in law enforcement, but Maruszak said he petitioned the tour to allow him to join.
“They said, ‘Absolutely,’ so I was kind of lucky to get in,” Maruszak said.
For the past five years, Maruszak has ridden his bike to raise money in support of a multiple sclerosis charity.
Most marathons are about 150 miles so the Police Unity Tour is intense, said Maruszak, who is currently training.
“It’s basically just a lot of biking when I’m not at work — 30, 40 miles a day,” he said, adding that he’s increasing to 50 or 60 miles per day the week before the marathon.
Each rider has to raise $1,750 through pledges so Maruszak has hosted fundraising events and is accepting donations at http://bit.ly/maruszak. He has raised $1,130 as of May 1.
Maruszak said he is dedicating his ride to fallen Toledo Police Detective Keith Dressel. On Feb. 21, 2007, Dressel was shot while trying to stop a drug deal.
Keith’s mother Larraine Dressel said she appreciates Maruszak dedicating his ride to her son. The Dressel family was also present at the tour’s April 3 fundraiser at The Blarney where Keith’s wife Danielle was a guest bartender.
“It means a lot, especially after this many years, that someone would do that,” Larraine said of Maruszak honoring Keith. “For him to do this in his memory, wow.”
To learn more, visit policeunitytour.com.