Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

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For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  DCI Public Information Officer
Investigative Operations
Iowa Department of Public Safety
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office

DCI Identifies Subjects in Clarinda Shooting

Clarinda, IOWA – The Clarinda Police Department, Page County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, and Iowa State Patrol continue to investigate an overnight shooting involving a Clarinda police officer.

At approximately 3:19 AM on March 28, 2012, Clarinda Police Department Officer Justin Ridnour, went to 110 North 16th Street in Clarinda.  He was responding to a 911 call received from a female in the residence.  The caller, Alisha Michaelson, indicated there was a man with a hammer outside her window.

Upon arriving at the residence Officer Ridnour observed 40 year old Jason Cieslak using a hammer to break the window of a first floor apartment, and Ms. Michaelson inside the apartment.  Officer Ridnour approached and engaged in a conversation with Cieslak.  This dialogue continued as the confrontation traveled down the block.  Officer Ridnour repeatedly commanded Cieslak to drop the weapon (hammer). These commands were ignored. Eventually, Cieslak advanced on Officer Ridnour with the raised hammer.  Officer Ridnour then fired his duty weapon once to stop the threat, striking Cieslak.  Cieslak was immediately transported to the Clarinda Regional Health Center for treatment.  He remains hospitalized in stable condition.

An arrest warrant for Jason Lee Cieslak has been filed. After his release from the hospital, Cieslak will be arrested and charged with First Degree Burglary, a class "B" felony. Additional charges are pending the results of the investigation.

Arrest Warrant and Criminal Complaint

Clarinda Police Officer Justin Ridnour was not injured in the incident.  He has been placed on administrative leave per department policy.  Officer Ridnour is a two year veteran of the Clarinda Police Department.        

For questions, please contact SA Dave Dales at (402) 651-5164.


Note: A criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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