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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Dakota

Friday, January 13, 2017

Lower Brule Man Sentenced for Assaulting a Federal Officer

United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that a Lower Brule, South Dakota, man charged with Assaulting, Resisting, and Impeding a Federal officer pled guilty to, and was sentenced, on January 4, 2017, by U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno.


Johnny Walking Bull, age 32, was sentenced to 10 months in custody, 12 months of supervised release, and $25 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.


The conviction stems from an incident that took place on March 19, 2016, when an officer with the Bureau of Indian Affairs received a call regarding an assault that was reported to be taking place at a residence in Lower Brule. While in route, the officer was informed that Walking Bull had left their residence wearing a light blue jacket and blue jeans, and that he had gotten into a blue Dodge Durango heading towards Fort Thompson.


The officer went towards Fort Thompson and observed a blue Dodge Durango coming his way. As the car came closer, the officer observed two males in the car, one of whom was wearing a light blue jacket. He turned his patrol unit around, initiated a stop, made contact with the driver of the Durango and asked him if Walking Bull was with him, to which the driver responded that he was sitting in the passenger seat. The officer asked Walking Bull to step outside the vehicle so he could speak with him, to which Walking Bull used profane language, and refused to follow the officer’s requests. Walking Bull then exited the vehicle, removed his jacket, assumed a fighting stance towards the officer, and clenched his fists.


Walking Bull then lowered his head and started swinging his fists at the officer, missing him. The officer moved into close quarters and both of them ended up wrestling on the ground, with Walking Bull throwing punches at the officer and striking him on the cheek. While on the ground, Walking Bull continued to resist and tried multiple times to get up from the ground. Walking Bull was taken into custody and transported to jail.


The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Lower Brule Agency. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan N. Dilges.


Walking Bull is allowed to self-report on January 20, 2017.

Indian Country Law and Justice
Updated January 13, 2017