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Rapid City Road Builders Under Fire; Shooter Faces Seven Counts of Aggravated Assault

Hey, Carl—the signs say Give ‘Em a Brake, not Give ‘Em a .38:

A Rapid City man who is charged with seven counts of Aggravated Assault for allegedly shooting at construction workers entered a plea of not guilty yesterday (July 25, 2022).

53-year-old Carl Relf is accused of pointing and firing a handgun at construction workers along State Highway 79 south of Rapid City last month.

…If convicted of the charges, Relf could face up to 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine for each count [Jody Heemstra, “Rapid City Man Charged with Aggravated Assault After Allegedly Firing a Gun at Construction Workers,” DRG News, 2022.07.26].

Pennington County and the press haven’t made clear what motivated the well-regulated militia to fire on road workers. But this proud practitioner of the Second Amendment has had plenty of trouble following other laws:

Journal archives from 2015 show Carl Relf, 53, barricaded himself in a camper when Pennington County Sheriff’s deputies tried to arrest him on multiple warrants for failure to comply, driving under the influence, possession of a stolen vehicle and resisting arrest.

Relf initially agreed to turn himself in before he barricaded himself in the camper. After negotiations failed, law enforcement fired pepper spray through the camper windows. Relf still refused to exit, so Pennington County Sheriff’s deputies, along with officers from the Rapid City Police Department, broke through the barricade and deployed a K-9 unit.

The week prior to the barricading, police used a taser on Relf after they found him in the driver’s seat of a stolen pickup with numerous beer cans and he refused to obey officer commands [Shalom Bear Gee, “Rapid City Man Had Several Interactions with Law Enforcement Before Monday Shooting,” Rapid City Journal, 2022.06.09].

Once again, the Second Amendment makes South Dakota a more dangerous place, with no countervailing benefit.


  1. All Mammal 2022-07-27 13:32

    SD shootings since Relf was arrested for 6 counts of aggravated assault on 6/7:

    6/15 55 yo shot in Lead, SD. Police arrested 76 yo Robert Gillis.

    6/22 Sioux Falls shooting at Red Rock Inn.

    6/23 32 yo Gilbert Mesteth IV arrested for shooting a person on Monroe St in Rapid City.

    7/14 RCPD investigate shooting on N. Maple Ave between two vehicles. BOLO for grey Nissan Armada.

    7/14 James Lanpher led cops on chase that ended in Madison with gunshots fired between LEO and suspect. (3 LE shootings in a month in SF alone)

    7/17 57 yo Maria Makes Him First found murdered in Oglala, SD. Suspect unknown. COD not disclosed.

    7/24 Double shooting in Eagle Butte on Cheyenne River Reservation. 2 dead, 1 in custody. The deceased were musicians invited there for a music fest.

    7/26 1 dead in officer involved shooting in Rapid City. Suspect was shooting gun in casino parking lot. He shot police cruiser when cops arrived. LEO returned fire, killing suspect.

    Those are just the ones I read in print. I also heard about a shooting in the Outback Steakhouse parking lot in RC on 6/23. The business next door to my house has recent bullet holes in their warehouse. I hear gun report EVERY single night in Rapid City and most days. I don’t think any of the perpetrators are border jumpers, pretty much all local yokel. Thanks Thune, Rounds, Johnson, and Noem. What would we do without free universal carry for every man woman and child in our state? I’m sure law enforcement officers are thrilled too.

    As I am writing this, as a matter of fact, I just heard a nearby gun being fired! Just now!

  2. Jake 2022-07-27 17:51

    Yep, the more guns available to wannabe “Tough Guys” claiming ‘self-defense’ or ‘freedom’ mixed in with more alcohol and drugs and shoot-em-up movies the more death and destruction there will be.

    No brainer, really.

    And GOP Repubs are all over it (We’re on it!) because the money from said gun makers, alcohol and drugs somehow flow much heavier toward the political party that decries regulating anything except women’s bodies so they somehow don’t get too ‘uppity’ in society and wanting to decide whether they want to be pregnant pr not….

  3. Jake 2022-07-27 18:04

    And again, how do “2nd Amendment freedom” criers PRETEND that these guys are somehow a member of a ‘well-regulated militia?’

    OK, GOP Repubs, you love capitalism so much why don’t you force carrying insurance on these weapons that, like cars and trucks, cause death and destruction when used carelessly by idiots? The carrier of an AR-15 into a Starbucks should have to prove the gun was insured if all he wanted was o “show off” by open-carry.

  4. oldtimerDon 2022-07-28 18:11

    Jake has it nailed. Insurance industry could be leading the charge on this. Sounds like hail storms in SD will soon be replaced by lead.

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