Police: Man asked to be arrested after setting fire to day care in central South Dakota
Medicine Bear was charged with second-degree arson, two counts of first-degree burglary, one count of escaping arrest, assaulting an officer, and the possession of a controlled substance.
WHITE RIVER — On Monday, April 24, a White River day care was set ablaze while robberies were attempted, and a man charged with both crimes is now being held in the Winner jail.
A preliminary hearing has been set for May 8 for Dale Medicine Bear, 24, the man that the Mellette County Sheriff's Office arrested for allegedly starting the fire and attempting two burglaries. Law enforcement say that before the arrest, Medicine Bear claimed responsibility for the crimes and asked to be arrest him. No one was harmed in the fire as the building was empty.
Medicine Bear was charged with six counts — second-degree arson, two counts of first-degree burglary, one count of escaping arrest, assaulting an officer, and the possession of a controlled substance. He is being held at the Winner City Jail, without chance of bond. Court records show that Medicine Bear has had one prior charge of possession of alcohol by a minor in 2019, to which he pleaded guilty.
After law enforcement allegedly noticed Medicine Bear wandering shoeless and in a T-shirt on a side street of the city, Medicine Bear requested to be arrested, stating that he had “kicked in a door and started a fire,” as detailed in a report by the Deputy who then detained him. A few minutes later, Mellette County law enforcement then discovered the entire inside of the day care erupting in flames. Upon arrival at the scene, law enforcement described smoke bellowing from the windows and fire engulfing the front door and the ceiling.
Medicine Bear was later given urine tests at the jail, which showed the presence of methamphetamines and THC. He also told authorities he was on acid at the time of the crimes, according to court documents.
Among the most serious crimes Medicine Bear faces, second-degree arson is punishable upon conviction by up to 10 years in prison and a $30,000 fine. First-degree burglary is a class two felony, punishable by up to 25 years in prison and $50,000 in fines.