A Highway Patrol trooper used his dog and stun gun on a man who lunged at him Friday afternoon in Rapid City, according to a video and witness.
Highway Patrol is investigating the incident and is working on answering questions from the Journal, spokesman Tony Mangan said Friday night.
A two 1/2 minute video of the incident was posted to Facebook by Ethan Zain, an 18-year-old Rapid City resident. The video includes graphic images and language:
Zain said he began filming a group of four men fighting around 3 p.m. behind the McDonalds on East North Street. He said a trooper pulled up, two of the men left, and he continued to film.
The trooper told the two remaining men to stay where they are but they didn’t listen, Zain said. The trooper and his dog quickly got out of the car and continued telling the men to stay while the men continued not to listen.
Zain said he couldn’t hear what the men were saying to the trooper because they appeared intoxicated. He said he heard the trooper speaking to his dog but couldn’t make out what he was saying.
Zain said the video he posted begins after five minutes of conversation between the men and the trooper.
The video begins by showing one of the men lunge toward the trooper and his dog. The dog then attacks the man.
Zain said it looked like the man was “trying to fight” the dog or officer based on the way he lunged. He said he heard the trooper say something to the dog before the dog attacked but he couldn’t make it out. Zain said the man had nothing in his hands and he didn’t see any weapons on him.
“Maybe he was just trying to defend himself,” Zain said of the trooper.
The video shows the man fighting off the dog with his hands and kicking with his feet for the next 30 seconds until the trooper hits him with a stun gun.
Zain said he didn’t hear the trooper give the man a warning before hitting him with the stun gun.
The video shows the man stumble and then fall into the middle of the street as the dog bites onto him. The second man tries to pull the dog off his friend. The trooper does not appear to try to handcuff the man or take the dog off of him.
The trooper then puts his hand on the second man’s shoulder. The trooper or someone else can be heard saying “stay back,” “lay down” and something about “get the dog off.” The trooper pulls the second man down by his shirt after he sits up again and drags him away off camera.
Two other troopers arrive about two minutes into the video and help the original trooper handcuff the second man. About 15 seconds later, the original trooper takes the dog off the first man while another one handcuffs the man, who was not resisting. A fourth law enforcement officer wearing a different badge also helps with the arrest.
People at a nearby home and the Budget Inn were watching the incident, and at least one other person was filming, Zain said. He said the troopers warned people to back away and not get too close.
Zain shared three other shorter videos with the Journal that match what he says happened. One video shows the trooper, his dog and his Highway Patrol pickup as the trooper speaks with two of men as two others walk away. The two other videos show the men being placed into the patrol cars.
— Contact Arielle Zionts at email@example.com.
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