Police ID Suspect In Hockey ‘Hate Crime’ Against Native American Kids

January 29, 2015 2:46 p.m.

Police said they have identified one of the men involved in an alleged verbal and physical attack on 57 Native American children at a hockey game in South Dakota and are investigating it as a hate crime, KOTA reported Wednesday.

The case involves potential charges of assault, hate crime and child abuse, Rapid City, S.D. Police Chief Karl Jegeris told the station.

The children were attending a Rush hockey game on Saturday as part of a school event when belligerent fans reportedly began pouring beer on and shouting racial slurs at them. According to one of the chaperones, the fans told the students to “go back to the rez.”

After the incident, the students were escorted out of the arena by chaperones and on Tuesday the school’s board filed a complaint with Rapid City police, KOTA reported.

Attorney Mato Standing High, who is representing four families whose children were involved in the incident, said they want justice.

“In the families’ view, there is nothing short of an arrest that needs to be made,” Standing High said, according to the station. “That is the definition of justice in this instance. We feel that, you know, under different circumstances and different situations, people would have been arrested on the spot.”

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