District Attorney says Action by Jasper Police Officer was Lawful in His Action

12th Judicial District Attorney General Courtney C. Lynch, who serves Marion County issued a press release on Friday concerning an incident that occurred in Jasper on August 5, 2023.

Lynch says she has completed a review of the situation when Jasper Police officers placed 52 year-old Samuel Hrynecwicz of Dunlap under arrest.

Lynch says they reviewed all body cam footage from the arrest, the police report as well as interviewing Officer Justin Graham. The investigation was conducted by Lynch’s criminal investigators, both of whom have extensive law enforcement experience. Several of Lynch’s assistants also reviewed the information.

The vehicle was stopped for running a stop sign, almost causing a collision. Upon approaching the vehicle, the officer observed a swat-type rifle in the back seat. The passenger, Hrynecwicz, also appeared to be intoxicated. When Officer Graham arrived, the situation presented itself as one that had an intoxicated individual in the view vehicle with a police-style rifle. Thus, given the state of affairs, Officer Graham requested that the man get out of the vehicle for the safety of all the people involved. Hrynecwicz refused to get out of the vehicle.

The officer utilized pepper spray in an effort to get the man out of the vehicle. Some of the spray got into the officer’s eyes, causing some impairment of his vision. The officer attempted to call for backup, but his portable radio did not get out. He returned to his patrol unit, called for backup, and proceeded back to the vehicle containing Hrynecwicz.

At this time, Officer Graham attempted to use the tactic of an open palm strike to the neck which would temporarily stun the subject. In the course of attempting to execute the maneuver, Hrynecwicz was struck in the face.

Once Hrynecwicz was out of the vehicle and handcuffed, the officers requested medical aid through the EMS personnel on the scene. They cleared him medically, and while transporting him to the jail, Hrynecwicz said he was sorry and knew where the officer was coming from.

After Hrynecwicz was handcuffed, Officer Graham retrieved the weapon and discovered that it was an air rifle.

Hrynecwicz was arrested and taken to the Marion County Jail and is charged with Two counts of Assault on a Police Officer, Resisting, Stop, Halt, Frisk, and giving a False Report (giving another person’s name instead of his own). The female driver was issued a written citation for the stop sign violation.

District Attorney Lynch concluded that the use of force utilized by the officers was lawful and in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Jasper Police Department. The DA added that the presence of what appeared to be a firearm similar to the weapons used by swat teams gave the officers call to ask Hrynecwicz to step out of the vehicle.

Photo: 12th District Attorney General Courtney C. Lynch