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DWU women's basketball player charged with DUI after pursuit

DWU women's basketball head coach Jason Christensen did not comment on Gottlob's status as an athlete.

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Dakota Wesleyan forward Natalie Gottlob attempts a layup against Hastings College during a Great Plains Athletic Conference game on Friday, Dec. 3 at the Corn Palace.
Matt Gade / Mitchell Republic
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MITCHELL — Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball senior Natalie Gottlob is facing charges of driving under the influence from earlier this week.

Shortly after 2 a.m. on Jan. 2, a South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper was on patrol when he noticed Gottlob's rear windshield was obstructed. As the vehicle turned from Burr Street onto Interstate 90 eastbound, the trooper activated his emergency lights.

"The vehicle did not come to a stop and continued east on I-90," an affidavit written by the trooper reads. "I activated my emergency siren and the vehicle did not stop and continued to drive."

The affidavit claims Gottlob continued eastbound into Hanson County and was "still not stopping." The trooper observed the vehicle cross over the road's solid white line.

Troopers say a "pursuit ensued" and lasted for approximately six miles before law enforcement personnel were able to detain Gottlob without issue. The affidavit does not list the speed of the pursuit.

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While in his patrol car, the trooper said he could detect the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Gottlob, and noted her eyes were glassy and watery.

A ticket issued to Gottlob indicates she refused a preliminary breath test, but the trooper submitted her to field sobriety tests.

Gottlob was charged with driving under the influence and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle — both Class 1 misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Both require a court appearance, though she was released on a personal recognizance bond.

Gottlob, a 6-foot forward on the Dakota Wesleyan women's basketball team, was listed as unavailable in the team's roster during the Tigers' home loss against Briar Cliff on Wednesday — though she was present on the bench.

DWU's student handbook requires students to notify the Director of Student Life of any off-campus arrest and to inform the university of the progression of any proceedings resulting from the arrest.

"Any criminal violation of law (on or off campus) is at the same time a violation of the University’s Student Code of Conduct," the student handbook reads. "As stated in the University Administrative Authority Policy, the University reserves the right to take necessary and appropriate action to remedy serious academic or social problems, including disciplinary warning, disciplinary probation for a specific period, suspension, dismissal, and/or removal from campus."

A reserve for the Tigers, Wednesday's absence was Gottlob's first game without minutes since a Dec. 22, 2020, matchup against Hastings College. Gottlob has played 16 games this season for the Tigers coming off the bench, averaging 6.3 points per game.

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When asked Friday by the Mitchell Republic, DWU women's basketball coach Jason Christensen declined to comment on Gottlob's status with the team. Jon Hart, athletic director for DWU, did not return multiple phone calls.

Theresa Kriese, interim president at DWU, said Gottlob is enrolled as a student, but her status as a player is a coach's decision.

Gottlob is due to appear in a Davison County courtroom on Feb. 3.

Dunteman covers general and breaking news as well as crime in the Mitchell Republic's 17-county coverage area. He grew up in Harrisburg, and has lived in South Dakota for over 20 years. He joined the Mitchell Republic in June 2021 after earning his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He can be reached at HDunteman@MitchellRepublic.com, or on Twitter @HRDunt.
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