Former Sioux Falls officer charged with simple assault

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A former Sioux Falls police officer has been charged with simple assault by the South Dakota Attorney General, the state office said in a news release.

Former police officer Joseph Michael Larson, 32, has been charged in a July 24 incident in which he was acting as a police officer, according to the news release.

According to court papers the incident happened during an arrest outside a downtown bar. The affidavit said Larson struggled to put a seatbelt on a man inside a police car.

The affidavit said Larson hit the victim in the groin multiple times which a defensive tactics instructor for the Sioux Falls Police Department said was not consistent with techniques that Sioux Falls Police were trained in. The instructor did not view “Larson’s blows as a trained defensive tactic technique,” the affidavit said.

Larson said in his supplemental narrative to the police report that the victim resisted attempts to buckle him in the seatbelt and that he pushed on the victim’s upper pelvis area and his hip without results, according to the affidavit.

“Upon learning of Officer Larson’s actions, he did not work another shift for the Sioux Falls Police Department and is no longer a member of our Police department. The City of Sioux Falls immediately referred this case to be reviewed for criminal charges by the State Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) as an independent agency. In order to protect the integrity of the ongoing criminal proceedings and the rights of all involved, no further details will be provided at this time.” Mayor Paul TenHaken said in an email response to KELOLAND News.

The prosecution of the case will be handled by the Office of the Attorney General.

No complaint against Larson in July 2021 is listed on the City’s webpage listing citizen complaints against officers.

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