Woonsocket man charged after Wednesday pursuits, threats

A Sanborn County Sheriff's Office vehicle. (Republic file photo)
A Sanborn County Sheriff's Office vehicle. (Republic file photo)

A Woonsocket man was arrested Wednesday after allegedly threatening to kill a man and nearly hitting officers and occupied patrol vehicles multiple times during two pursuits through Sanborn County.

Dustin Feistner, 39, is being held in the Beadle County Jail on a $5,000 bond. He is charged with four felonies and one misdemeanor in connection to Wednesday's incidents in Sanborn County. If convicted on all charges, he could be incarcerated for up to 35 years.

According to a probable cause statement, Sanborn County Chief Deputy Jason Coenen was called to a Woonsocket residence where one of Feistner's family members alleged Feistner had been "threatening to kill him and bury him in the front yard."

The family member said Feistner had begun threatening him in the morning and continued until he left the house, then began again when he returned. He requested that Feistner be removed from the property and be charged.

Coenen reportedly asked Feistner to step out of his vehicle and opened the door to take him in to custody. Feistner allegedly put the vehicle in gear and drove away, nearly hitting Coenen.


Coenen then activated his emergency lights and ordered Feistner to exit the vehicle when he stopped at a stop sign. When Coenen got out of his patrol vehicle, he reportedly saw reverse lights activate on Feistner's vehicle. Coenen drew his duty weapon and ordered Feistner out of the car, and Feistner again allegedly drove away, beginning a pursuit involving him, Coenen and Sanborn County Sheriff Tom Fridley.

Feistner reportedly ignored another command to exit his vehicle and instead drove into Woonsocket. Fridley attempted to use his patrol vehicle to block Feistner, and Feistner allegedly drove straight toward it, with Fridley able to turn out of the way to avoid a head-on collision.

The pursuit continued, with Feistner allegedly running into the left side of Coenen's patrol vehicle at one point. The pursuit was terminated for safety concerns. Fridley, Coenen and Deputy Shane Mentzer reportedly returned to the residence to gather evidence, then went to the sheriff's office to issue a (be on the lookout) for Feistner.

At 11:50 p.m., law enforcement again attempted to stop Feistner, who reportedly ignored emergency lights and drove through Woonsocket, driving toward a patrol vehicle multiple times to run it off the road. A second pursuit was terminated. Officers were then able to set up spikes, which deflated Feistner's tires, bringing him to a stop on S.D. Highway 34.

Feistner reportedly got out of his vehicle and did not comply with Mentzer's order to get on the ground. Officers took Feistner to the ground and handcuffed him, allegedly finding drug paraphernalia in his pocket.

A search of the vehicle allegedly yielded methamphetamine, additional drug paraphernalia, 9mm bullets and a Glock 17 9mm handgun. At the time of his arrest, Feistner was prohibited from possessing a firearm, due to a previous violent crime conviction in Sanborn County.

Feistner was charged with aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer, a Class 2 felony; possession of methamphetamine, a Class 5 felony; possession of a firearm by a former violent offender and aggravated eluding, both of which are Class 6 felonies; and domestic simple assault, a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Feistner's criminal history dates back to 2000. Since then, he has been convicted of 19 criminal offenses, including one aggravated assault conviction and three simple assault convictions. An additional 20 criminal charges brought against him have been dropped.


In Davison County, Feistner is currently awaiting trial for charges of simple assault and three conditional bond violations. He is representing himself, although advisory counsel was recently appointed to assist him in his case.

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