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Mitchell man arrested after calling police 47 times, threatening officers

Court documents allege the man called an officer's duty phone 34 times in 45 minutes as well as 911 at least a dozen times.

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The Mitchell Police Division is a part of the Mitchell Department of Public Safety.
Hunter Dunteman / Mitchell Republic
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MITCHELL — A Mitchell man has pleaded not guilty to seven criminal charges after he allegedly harassed his girlfriend and police while also threatening officers and their families.

Joshua Whiteman, 25, of Mitchell was charged with five counts of threatening law enforcement or their families and two counts of permitting threatening or harassing phone calls in connection with the incident.

On April 10, police in Mitchell responded to an address in Mitchell after a woman reported that her boyfriend wouldn’t stop calling her at work, despite her telling him to stop.

Officers made contact with Whiteman at his residence to tell him to leave the victim alone, but Whiteman was intoxicated and “wanted to argue with officers” about child support, court documents say.

While speaking with one officer, Whiteman allegedly became frustrated and threw an empty box of brownies, throwing it at police while approaching them in an aggressive manner. One officer, who said he was in fear Whiteman was going to further harm him, said a shirtless Whiteman began flexing his muscles, telling officers he was a gang member and wasn’t afraid.

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Officers warned Whiteman to stop contacting the victim and left the residence.

Over the course of the following hour, Whiteman allegedly continued contacting the victim via text and call while she was at work. He also called 911 at least a dozen times without reporting an emergency.

“The Mitchell Dispatch Center dispatchers were getting very annoyed with Whiteman calling when he did not have an emergency,” an affidavit reads. “Whiteman kept yelling at the dispatchers that he wanted to speak to officers.”

Somehow, Whiteman had obtained an officer’s duty phone number, which he allegedly called 34 times in a 45-minute period.

Officers eventually returned to Whiteman’s residence, and attempted to place him under arrest. During the arrest, Whiteman allegedly threatened to harm three officers and their families.

“Whiteman said that he knew where we all lived and that we should watch our backs at all times because he was going to harm us,” the affidavit reads, noting Whiteman allegedly said he had that information from Facebook. “He also threatened the officers’ wives, girlfriends and children.”

While at the Davison County Jail, Whiteman is also accused of threatening a corrections officer.

After pleading not guilty during a status hearing on Thursday, prosecutors dismissed one count of simple assault against law enforcement for throwing the brownie box.

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Whiteman is set to appear in a Davison County courtroom for a jury trial on June 27, unless a plea deal is reached with prosecutors beforehand.

If convicted on all charges, Whiteman could be sentenced to serve up to 7 years in prison and pay $14,000 in fines.

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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