- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 28, 2015

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - Police are looking into reports that some children from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation were subjected to racial slurs and sprayed with beer while attending a Rapid City Rush hockey game last weekend.

Rapid City Police Lt. Mark Eisenbraun said his department opened an investigation Tuesday after concerned parents called with more information. Chaperones for the students from the American Horse K-8 school in Allen said the harassment occurred during Saturday’s game at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

The Civic Center has not been able to identify the men responsible for the alleged harassment, but it said they were guests of a suite rented by Rapid City distributor Eagle Sales.

Eagle Sales president Tom Helland told the Rapid City Journal the incident was “incredibly horrible.” He said one of his employees was in the suite Saturday but wasn’t aware of the incident.

“I feel terrible about it,” Helland said. “Unfortunately, we can’t change what happened. From what I gathered, it was one individual who did most of the inappropriate behavior.”



There were 65 students and chaperones in total from the American Horse school. Autumn Tallman, one of the students at the game, told KOTA-TV the students were mad they had to leave the game early but more upset by the comments made by the men.

“When we stood up, one of the guys said, ‘Gee, the whole tribe,’” she said.

The Civic Center has said it would bar those responsible from future events, if it manages to identify them.

“I’ve been in this business for 25 years and this is beyond some of the other issues and things I’ve run into because this crosses a lot of lines,” said Craig Balzer, executive director at the Civic Center. “First of all, it is very racially charged. I’ve seen enough reports on the statements that have been made to see clearly that was the case.”

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide