- Associated Press - Monday, February 2, 2015

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - The Rushmore Plaza Civic Center is looking at policy changes after some students reported having beer poured on them.

The incident happened Jan. 24 at a Rapid City Rush hockey game. A chaperone said students from the American Horse School in Allen were subjected to racial slurs and had beer sprayed on them.

Investigators say they’ve identified a main suspect who exhibited poor behavior during the game and others who might have been involved. Rapid City Police Chief Karl Jegeris said in a statement Monday that the investigation could take weeks.

“The circumstances surrounding this incident are unique and wide-ranging in scope,” Jegeris said. “These are serious allegations that demand a thorough investigation.”

Craig Baltzer, executive director of the civic center, told the Rapid City Journal (https://bit.ly/1DoDUZJ ) that some of the center’s alcohol-related policies and practices will be changed. That includes setting up a family section where alcohol is prohibited, but he said that could take time because of issues with moving season ticketholders during the current season.

Baltzer said suite owners will be required to identify people who will be responsible for the room every time it’s used, effective immediately. A list of people in the suite will also be mandatory.

Fans accused of harassing the students were using a suite.

“It’s unfortunate that two or three or however many people were involved can affect so many others, but it’s something we’ve got to do now, and it could happen again so we’ve got to handle that better,” Baltzer said.

The civic center could also assign security personnel to large youth groups, among other possible changes.


Information from: Rapid City Journal, https://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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