21 arrested in July 3 protests near Keystone

PENNINGTON COUNTY, S.D. — A total of 21 people were arrested in the July 3 protest near Keystone.

The arrests included 20 adults and one juvenile for unlawful protest activities. The protesters place three large vans in the roadway to create a blockade to prevent access from Keystone to the Mount Rushmore National Monument.

The following people face charges for their roles in the event.

Below are charges at time of arrest and addresses provided at booking in the jail:

  • Samantha Pond, 31, from Rapid City, South Dakota – Disorderly Conduct (M2)
  • Katie Kloth, 33, from Rapid City, South Dakota – Disorderly Conduct (M2)
  • Juliana BrownEyes, 30, Rapid City, South Dakota – Disorderly Conduct (M2)
  • Nataanii Means, 29, from Porcupine, South Dakota – Disorderly Conduct (M2)
  • Tonia Stands, 42, from Rapid City, South Dakota – Disorderly Conduct (M2)
  • Stephanie Roubideaux, 49, from Shakopee, Minnesota – Disorderly Conduct (M2)
  • Rene Gottsch, 37, from Elk Horn, Nevada – Simple Assault (M1)
  • Cynthia Cochran, 60, From Torrington, Wyoming – Standing on Highway w/ Intent to Impede/Stop Traffic (M1), Failure to Vacate/Ordered to Leave (M1), Disorderly Conduct-Unlawful Assembly (M1)
  • Derek Smith, 32, from Dickinson, North Dakota – Failure to Vacate/Ordered to Leave (M1), Disorderly Conduct-Unlawful Assembly (M1)
  • Sharaf Shafai, 21, from Rapid City, South Dakota – Disorderly Conduct-Unlawful Assembly (M1)
  • Rory Wakemup, 43, from St. Paul, Minnesota – Disorderly Conduct-Unlawful Assembly (M1)
  • Dana Christensen, 39, from Omaha, Nebraska – Failure to Vacate/Ordered to Leave (M1), Disorderly Conduct-Unlawful Assembly (M1)
  • Nicholas Tilsen, 38, from Porcupine, South Dakota – Robbery in the 2nd Degree (F4), Standing on Highway with Intent to Impede/Stop Traffic, Failure to Vacate/Ordered to Leave (M1), Disorderly Conduct-Unlawful Assembly (M1)
  • Miranda Auer, 25, from Custer, South Dakota – Disorderly Conduct  (M1)
  • Ksenia Veropaeva, 34, Staten Island, New York – Disorderly Conduct-Unlawful Assembly (M1)
  • Krystal TwoBulls, 35, from Rapid City, South Dakota – Failure to Vacate/Ordered to Leave (M1), Disorderly Conduct-Unlawful Assembly (M1)
  • Andrew Huot, 19, from Rapid City, South Dakota – Disorderly Conduct  (M1), Failure to vacate (M1)
  • Malik Osborne, 20, from Rapid City, South Dakota – Disorderly Conduct-Unlawful Assembly (M1)
  • Tyler Wade, 31, from Laguna, New Mexico – Disorderly Conduct-Unlawful Assembly (M1)
  • George Corbett, 56, from Buckeye, Arizona (counter protester also arrested) – Disorderly Conduct  (M1)

Early in the week, Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom was contacted by a local attorney who requested to meet regarding the planned protest in Keystone. The attorney was acting on behalf of the event organizers.

The attorney assured Sheriff Thom that the protests were initially planned to be peaceful. Even though some of the protesters may lay in the road and refused to move, which they understood could result in an arrest, the resistance would be passive.

Follow-up discussions with the attorney and the event organizer resulted in a mutually agreed upon location and ground rules for the protesters to exercise their 1st amendment rights. The location was about 100 to 200 yards north of the intersection of Highway 244 and Iron Mountain Road.

“Even though we negotiated with the group in good faith, they made the decision not to honor their word,” says Sheriff Kevin Thom. “The result was a protest that was no longer peaceful.”

Vans were parked on the roadway and were disabled. Two of the vans had at least one tire removed by protesters so the vans could not easily be moved. All three vans were eventually towed. Some protesters had large wooden sticks and were acting aggressively towards law enforcement.

At one point, a shield was grabbed away from one of the National Guard soldiers and spray painted. Law enforcement eventually recovered the shield. Protesters also spray painted graffiti on the highway. Pepper spray and pepper balls were deployed by law enforcement during the protest.

“We are thankful that no community members, protestors or law enforcement were injured during the protest. This is a testament to the prior planning by law enforcement and the professionalism of law enforcement and National Guard personnel on the front lines during the protest,” says Sheriff Thom.

Sheriff Thom also said,

“We prefer to be proactive and work with people wanting to express their 1st amendment rights, regardless of their ideology, so any protest event is peaceful and safe for the community, protesters and law enforcement. Going forward this organizer and group represented have no credibility with our office concerning discussions of any future planned protests. We welcome other groups that plan protests in the future to work proactively with law enforcement to ensure a safe event.”

As the investigation of the July 3 protest continues, the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office is expecting many more arrests. A team of investigators is assigned to review video, interview witnesses and collect evidence.

Agencies that assisted the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office include:

Air and Army National Guard, National Park Service, The South Dakota Highway Patrol and the Rapid City Police Department.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News

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