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News Release

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Media Relations

North Hollywood Division Categorical Use of Force NRF002-20bm


***UPDATE:***
The North Hollywood Area Officer(s) involved in the below incident has been identified as a Police Officer II Alexander Simon, Serial No. 42736, Police Officer II Jonathan Duplechein, Serial No. 41945, Police Officer I Vaughn Ripplinger, Serial No. 43814 and Police Officer I Ismael Silva, Serial No. 44074.

**The following information is based on a preliminary and ongoing investigation, which continues to evolve as investigators interview witnesses, review physical and electronic records, and analyze forensic evidence. The Department's understanding of the facts and circumstances may change as additional evidence is collected and analyzed**

North Hollywood: The Los Angeles Police Department's (LAPD) Force Investigation Division is investigating a Categorical Use of Force that occurred in North Hollywood Division.

On January 5, 2020, around 4:00 a.m., North Hollywood officers responded to a radio call of a vandalism suspect in the 6200 block of Elmer Avenue. The comments in the radio call stated that the suspect, later identified as Oktawian Balenkowski, was throwing rocks at the residence. Balenkowski was also described as possibly being under the influence of an unknown substance.

When officers arrived at the location, they observed the suspect Balenkowski in the front yard and attempted to communicate with him. Balenkowski ignored the officers and climbed the fence of a neighboring yard, later determined to be his parents' home, and went inside. Once inside the residence, Balenkowski grabbed his mother with both arms. In an effort to detain Balenkowski, officers requested a backup and a use of force occurred. The use of force involved a firm grip and officer bodyweight.

Balenkowski was taken into custody and later transported to a local hospital for being under the influence of an unknown substance. On January 6, 2020, it was determined Balenkowski's right elbow had been dislocated during the use of force. Balenkowski was admitted into the hospital for his injury. No officers were injured during this incident.

Force Investigation Division (FID) responded and is handling the investigation.

The complete investigation will be reviewed by the Chief of Police and the Board of Police Commissioners and the Office of the Inspector General to determine the thoroughness and accuracy of the investigation and whether the use of deadly force complied with the LAPD's policies and procedures. Additionally, representatives from the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office who responded to the scene will review the subsequent FID investigation; evidence collected and witness statements to determine if the force used by the officer(s) violated any criminal laws.

Anyone with additional information regarding this incident is urged to call the LAPD at any of the following numbers:
•During business hours at (213) 486-5230;
•During non-business hours or on weekends at (877)-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247);
•Anonymously 24-hours a day to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or by texting "LAPD" and your tip to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S); or
•Online at www.lapdonline.org and click on "Anonymous Web Tips.



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