Subscribe for 33¢ / day

A judge has set a $500,000 bail for a man charged with rape and assaulting multiple police officers in Rapid City last month.

Michael Whirlwind Horse, 31, is facing eight felony charges in Pennington County: second-degree rape, aggravated assault and six counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.

At Whirlwind Horse’s initial court appearance Friday, a county prosecutor asked that his bail be set at $500,000 cash or surety, citing the alleged assaults with a knife on March 24.

The Rapid City Police Department earlier said Whirlwind Horse threatened several officers with a “large knife” after they responded to a call for assistance at a residence on Signal Drive. Whirlwind Horse reportedly refused to follow repeated orders to drop the knife.

Whirlwind Horse fled to an adjacent street, Kellogg Place, where he was arrested after being subdued with a stun gun. Investigators learned that before the alleged confrontation, he had taken sleeping medication with alcohol.

His mother spoke in court Friday, telling 7th Circuit Magistrate Judge Marya Tellinghuisen that Whirlwind Horse was undergoing treatment for a mental illness. He was given permission to leave the treatment facility for his birthday, and he went to a residence that had “significant alcohol.”

She described Whirlwind Horse as very gullible, and said he hadn’t been drunk in a long time. His treatment professionals were apparently “blown away at his behavior" because it was out of character.

A defense attorney who assisted Whirlwind Horse during the hearing asked the judge for a $7,500 bail, saying he wouldn't be able to leave jail anyway given a probation violation charge.

Get news headlines sent daily to your inbox

Tellinghuisen granted the prosecution’s bail request, believing Whirlwind Horse is a danger to the community.

There is no additional court information on his rape charge, in which the victim is named as “Jane Doe.”

Whirlwind Horse is a registered sex offender. He was convicted in 2013 of sexual exploitation of a 14-year-old girl in Bennett County, according to South Dakota’s Sex Offender Registry.

Contact Tiffany Tan at

You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.

Cops and Courts Reporter

Cops and courts reporter for the Rapid City Journal from February 2016 to July 2018. Contact her on Facebook or Twitter @tiffgtan.