Sept. 16 Regional News Briefs

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Federal judge awards $440,000 in forced catheterization suit

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A federal judge has approved legal settlements totaling $440,000 for people in South Dakota who were subjected to forced catheterizations to check for drug use.

U.S. District Judge Roberto Lange ruled in April that police who used forced catheterizations violated the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. The lawsuit named the state Highway Patrol, individual officers, and the cities and police departments of Wagner, Pierre and Sisseton.

The ACLU of South Dakota and a Rapid City lawyer filed the case on behalf of people suspected of drug use who were subjected to forced catheterizations to obtain urine samples. Police had obtained search warrants for the urine samples.

Lange wrote in a 106-page opinion that the practice to prove low-level drug crimes was “a highly invasive — and in these cases — degrading medical procedure.”

Five people were awarded settlements between $75,000 and $99,000 for damages and legal costs.

FBI offers reward in 2016 slaying in Eagle Butte

EAGLE BUTTE, S.D. (AP) — The Federal Bureau of Investigation is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for leads in an unsolved South Dakota homicide from 2016.

The Minneapolis Field Office of the FBI is offering the reward for information about the murder of Jessie Wallace Cook in Eagle Butte. The FBI hopes new tips will lead to a suspect or suspects in the case.

The 32-year-old Cook was found on Oct. 29, 2016 unresponsive on the ground near the Eagle Butte water tower on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation. He was found with severe facial injuries. An autopsy determined blunt force trauma caused his death.

Cook was a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.

SWAT officers search Fargo residence, baby removed

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Five people will face charges after SWAT team officers found drugs, guns and cash after executing a high-risk search warrant at a residence in Fargo, according to officials.

An infant in the home was taken into protective custody, police said.

Red River Valley SWAT officers were called to serve the warrant Tuesday because of the violent criminal history of one of the suspects who was known to possess guns and had made previous threats against law enforcement, KVRR reported.

The SWAT team used several armored vehicles and a flash bang device to distract the suspects while officers detained them.

The Fargo Police Department’s narcotics unit says it seized marijuana, drug paraphernalia, two firearms and about $12,000 in cash.

An infant in the home was taken into protective custody.

Men on motorcycles accused of harassing Yellowstone bison

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — Two brothers accused of riding motorcycles off-road and harassing bison in Yellowstone National Park have pleaded not guilty.

Dallin McAllister, 25, of Provo, Utah, and Tyler McAllister, 36, of Gilbert, Arizona, entered the pleas Monday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Carman in Yellowstone. Each was charged with operating a motor vehicle in prohibited areas and feeding, touching, teasing, frightening or intentionally disturbing wildlife.

The two drove off-road near Fountain Flats Drive in western Yellowstone Friday evening, park spokeswoman Ashton Hooker said.

Video posted online showed motorcyclists riding off-road within several feet (2 meters) of a group of running bison, including some calves, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported. Tyler McAllister didn’t immediately return a phone message Tuesday at his solar power business. Dallin McAllister didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday through Facebook.

Visitors in Yellowstone are required to stay 25 yards (23 meters) from bison and at least 100 yards (91 meters) from bears and wolves. Visitors may not go off road on vehicles or bicycles.

Wyoming COVID-19 toll up 4, school employee tests positive

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The number of Wyoming residents killed by the coronavirus rose by four while one of the state’s biggest school districts reported that an employee tested positive for the virus.

The deaths of three people from Sheridan County and one from Natrona County brought Wyoming’s COVID-19 death toll to 46, the Wyoming Department of Health announced Monday.

Three of the deaths occurred over the past couple weeks and one was in August, department spokeswoman Kim Deti said.

The increase came as the school district in Cheyenne announced an employee at McCormick Junior High School tested positive for the coronavirus.

It was the first known positive case among students or employees in the district since school began Aug. 31, the Wyoming Tribune Eagle reported.