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Man held in slaying at club

The victim was talking to a dancer when another patron cut his throat, police say.

March 08, 2007|Richard Winton | Times Staff Writer

Los Angeles police detectives have arrested an Encino man on suspicion of fatally slashing the throat of another patron at a Canoga Park strip club Monday night.

Zachary Todd Balonick was booked Tuesday in connection with the death of Jose Omar Montalvo Jr.

Police said Montalvo was seated in the Xposed club talking to a dancer about 8:30 p.m. when he was allegedly attacked by Balonick.

"He walks up behind this guy and cut his throat. There was no conversation between the two of them. He just suddenly jumped up with a knife and attacked," said Det. Rick Swanston of the West Valley Division homicide unit. The motive remains unclear, Swanston said.

Montalvo died of his injuries at a Northridge hospital.

Police said Balonick left the club immediately after the attack and drove off in a late model Audi. Detectives were able to identify the assailant because those entering the club are required to present identification and have it scanned, Swanston said. Witnesses also knew his first name from his previous visits to the club.

Swanston said Balonick was arrested at his Encino home without incident. He is being held without bail pending charges and arraignment.

richard.winton@latimes.com

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