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Protest Arrests

Protest Arrests

Pennington County Sheriff - 21 arrested in July 3 protest near Keystone

News Release - July 7, 2020

RAPID CITY, S.D. - 20 adults and one juvenile were arrested Friday, July 3, 2020, for unlawful protest activities near Keystone. Individuals placed three large vans in the roadway to create a blockade to prevent access from Keystone to Mount Rushmore National Monument.

The following individuals 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 Sheriff Kevin Thom was contacted by a local attorney requesting to meet regarding the planned protest in Keystone. The attorney was acting on behalf of the event organizers. The Sheriff was assured by the attorney that the protest was planned to be peaceful. Although some may lay in the road and refuse to move, which they understood could result in an arrest, the resistance would be passive.

Follow up discussions with the attorney and event organizer resulted in a mutually agreed upon location and ground rules for the group to exercise their 1st amendment rights. That location was approximately 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 disabled. Two of the vans had at least one tire removed by protestors so the vans could not be easily moved. Eventually all three vans were towed. Some protestors had large wooden sticks in their possession. Some protestors 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 was eventually able to recover the shield. There was also graffiti spray painted on the highway by protestors. 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 says, “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.”

On June 1, 2020, Rapid City’s Mayor, Chief of Police, Pennington County’s Sheriff, community members to include leaders from the African American and Native American communities all stood together at Main Street Square in Rapid City to denounce violence associated with protests in our community.

As the investigation continues into the protest from July 3rd we anticipate many more arrests.  A team of investigators is assigned to review video, interview witnesses and collect evidence.

Agencies assisting the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office with the protest were Air and Army National Guard, National Park Service, South Dakota Highway Patrol and Rapid City Police Department.

Phone number: 605-347-4455
E-mail: [email protected]
Address: 1612 Junction Avenue, Suite #1
Sturgis, SD 57785