A 20-year-old Rapid City man was arrested on eight felony charges and several misdemeanors in Spearfish.
Nicholas Rios was arrested after 30 tires in the Spearfish Police Department and City Hall parking lots were slashed early Sunday morning.
He 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.
“I’m very disappointed that anyone would commit a crime like this,” Pat Rotert, Spearfish Public Safety director, said in a press release. “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.”
According to a press release from the city, Spearfish Emergency Communications Dispatch staff noticed a hissing noise coming from the north side of the police department. Security cameras showed a man walking around vehicles in the lot.
The release states he then went to another parking lot and slashed tires on city vehicles before slashing tires on police patrol vehicles.
Officers pursued the man to the downtown area where he was arrested near the Ace Hardware store on Main Street.
Tires from the police department, animal control and other city vehicles as well as a city employee’s personal vehicle were among those slashed. The damage is estimated at $7,500 for the tires alone.
Spearfish Police Chief Curtis Jacobs said there are some discussions to add extra lighting to the parking lots and the city is moving vehicles to more secure locations.
"It affected half of the police fleet we have," he said. It's just very disappointing someone would take this upon themselves to react in this way."
According to the release, repairs have begun but the timeline depends on the availability of tires. Jacobs said the city may need to travel to Rapid City in order to acquire all the tires necessary.
"This is a large expense the taxpayers should not have to bear," he said.
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