Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

More Beer, More Racism at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center; Elders Become Latest Victims

Simon Moya-Smith

A Native American woman was at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in South Dakota on Friday night when she was struck from behind with beer, she said. The beer also hit several Lakota elders sitting next to her.

Kristen Hunter said she and a several friends were there to watch the PRCA Xtreme Bulls Tour when the beer was thrown at them.

"We were enjoying the bull riding and as I was attempting to film the next rider when we had beer thrown at us from above," Hunter wrote on her Facebook wall. "Is it even safe to even go to the civic center? Along with my friends a couple of Lakota elderly men and a caucasian elderly couple were hit as well."

Hunter posted the video to her Facebook page.

"It was like they ran by and threw it," she wrote. "It hit me, my friends and two Lakota elders to the left of my friend and to the right of my other friend. I was filming the riders, not expecting anything like this. It was scary."

Rapid City Police are investigating the incident, Tom Griffith of the Rapid City Journal reported.

Hunter told the Rapid City Journal that the entire row turned to look for the beer thrower, and no one was immediately behind them “besides some innocent bystanders.”

Hunter added that following the encounter she went back to her hotel room, cleaned herself up and cried.

Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Executive Director Craig Baltzer said police could not locate a witness, but that the latest incident has prompted him to increase security during the weekend.

Friday's incident comes on the heels of an ongoing investigation concerning beer and racial slurs hurled at a group of 57 Native American kids who were at the civic center to watch a Rapid City Rush hockey game. Police have since identified possible suspects, but have yet to release their names.

RELATED: Suspects Who Hit Native American Kids With Racial Slurs, Beer Identified, Police Say

Baltzer said some have theorized it's a copy-cat who threw the beer on Friday – someone who is aware of the incident when the Native American kids had beer doused on them several weeks ago.

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bullbear's picture
Submitted by bullbear on
Oh come on!! I find it nearly impossible to believe that the perpetrator was not on some security video. What kind of a casino is this that does not have cameras in every gaming room, at all levels and directed all locations where patrons are gathering? And the Rapid City Police are obviously dragging their feet, perhaps hoping that it will all blow over. All these gaming operations surely all the state of the art security cameras set up on the parking lots, walkways, and any place cash is being transacted. Someone is not doing the job they are paid to do. Someone needs to held accountable in the area of security and management, particularly when the health and well-being of its patrons are being abused and accosted. Do I smell lawsuit? Business is business and if you are not accountable for mis-management, someone needs to turn in their ID's, keys and shown the exit door.