Luis Clifford, age 35 of Rapid City, was released from the Sturgis Regional Hospital Monday evening and arrested by the RCPD for first degree robbery, aggravated assault, grand theft, eluding law enforcement, and a warrant for simple assault.
Witnesses reported that Clifford first approached two people in a vehicle in the Best Buy parking lot, brandished a handgun and attempted to force his way into the car. The driver sped away, but later returned to talk with police. After failing to get into the first vehicle, Clifford approached another man, brandished the gun, and demanded the car keys. The man complied, and Clifford fled in the stolen Toyota Camry.
Officers were notified of the robbery at 1:45 p.m., and pursued Clifford west on Interstate 90. Police estimate top speeds during the pursuit at approximately 120 miles per hour. Additional units from the South Dakota Highway Patrol, Meade County Sheriff's Office, and Sturgis Police Department assisted with the pursuit.
Several sets of spike strips were deployed on the Interstate, in an attempt to deflate the suspect's tires and end the pursuit. Near mile marker 38, Clifford avoided a set of spike strips and drove head-on at a Highway Patrol vehicle, causing two Troopers to run into the ditch to avoid being hit. Near mile marker 32, the Camry's rear tires hit a set of spike strips and rolled, landing with the vehicle upright.
Law enforcement conducted a high-risk stop, approaching the vehicle with weapons drawn for their own safety and the safety of the many drivers still on the Interstate. Clifford was taken into custody, and a .45 caliber handgun was located inside the vehicle.
Clifford was transported to the Sturgis Regional Hospital, where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries and then arrested. The rollover accident is currently under investigation by the South Dakota Highway Patrol, and additional charges may be pending in Meade County.
A high-speed chase ensued Monday afternoon after a suspect stole a car at gunpoint in the parking lot of Best Buy in Rapid City.
The multiple-agency chase came to an end at exit 32 on Interstate 90.
Sturgis police set up spikes in the road and blocked the exit.
The suspect rolled the car and was taken to the Sturgis hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
A police car also appears to have hit the spikes: The two passenger-side tires were torn to shreds.