Suspect caught Sunday after slashing 30 tires in Spearfish parking lots


SPEARFISH, S.D. – Early Sunday morning, 30 tires in the Spearfish Police Department and City Hall parking lot were slashed. Nicholas A. Rios, 20, of Rapid City, was arrested on eight felony charges and various misdemeanors.

At approximately 2:14 a.m. Sunday, Spearfish Emergency Communications Dispatch staff noticed the sound of hissing coming from the north side of the police department. Cameras showed a male, later identified as Rios, walking around the vehicles in the parking lot. Rios then went to an adjacent parking lot and slashed the tires on city vehicles parked there before slashing tires on police patrol vehicles.

Officers then pursued Rios from the City Hall area to the downtown area, where he was apprehended near Ace Hardware on Main Street. Rios was still in possession of the knife when he was apprehended.

In total, 30 tires total were slashed, including police department, animal control, and other city vehicles, and the destruction also encompassed the tires of a city employee’s personal vehicle.

“I’m very disappointed that anyone would commit a crime like this,” Pat Rotert, Spearfish Public Safety director, said. “With these alleged actions, Rios impacted our fleet capabilities and potentially slowed our response to requests from community members while the damage to the equipment we respond in is being repaired. During the day following this incident, we had calls ranging from medical emergencies to a domestic violence arrest. While law enforcement was the target of his alleged actions, in my view, he victimized the entire community.”

Repairs to the fleet have begun, with completion dependent on the availability of tires in the area. The department approximates the value of the tires alone to be approximately $7,500.

Rios has been charged with seven counts of intentional damage to property, one count of concealed weapon with intent to commit a felony, one count of intentional damage to property, five counts of obstruction of law enforcement and one count of underage consumption.

Categories: Crime, Local News, South Dakota News