Tuesday, January 12, 1999

Judge gives
probation violator
third break

The 20-year-old man is
on probation for his role
in attacking a Chicago cop

By Debra Barayuga


A 20-year-old man sentenced to five years probation for his role in the robbery and beating of a Chicago policeman in April 1996 today was given a third chance.

District Court Judge Sandra A. Simms sentenced Rodney Balbirona to 30 days in jail with credit for time served for violating terms of his probation.

He will spend about 15 days at the Oahu Community Correctional Facility before he is released on five years probation.

Simms last year sentenced Balbirona to five years probation after a circuit court jury rejected a charge of first-degree robbery and found Balbirona guilty of second-degree theft instead. The jury found Darrell Ortiz guilty of second-degree robbery in the attack.

Balbirona said he took the policeman's suitcase, but didn't harm him. James Boreczky suffered multiple facial fractures, two black eyes, a broken nose and broken jaw in the incident. Three metal plates were inserted to support his cheeks.

In sentencing Balbirona to jail time and probation, Simms said although he had not fully complied with terms of his probation, she believed the sentence was appropriate since he hadn't committed any new crimes. She felt at his age there was hope he could be rehabilitated if enrolled in a structured setting such as Job Corps.

Deputy prosecutor Maurice Arrisgado said he was disappointed in the judge's decision and didn't think 30 days jail time was enough time for Balbirona to get the message and start complying with the court's conditions.

"The court is setting Mr. Balbirona up for failure," Arrisgado said.

Since he appeared before Simms in September, Balbirona has not enrolled in a substance abuse program, has completed 88 of 200 hours of community service and has not made full restitution of $687.

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