BREAKING NEWS

Seattle cop, five others charged in Sturgis shooting By Ryan Woodard, Journal staff The off-duty Seattle cop who shot a member of the Hells Angels during a bar scuffle at the Sturgis motorcycle rally is now facing charges of assault, perjury and carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. Meade County State’s Attorney Jesse Sondreal announced in a news release this morning that a Meade County Grand Jury has indicted Ronald Smith, 43, who admitted to shooting 33-year-old Joseph Patrick McGuire Aug. 9 at the Loud American Roadhouse. The grand jury met Wednesday. Smith, a member of the Iron Pigs motorcycle club, has maintained that he shot McGuire in self-defense after a group of Hells Angels attacked him. McGuire has also been charged in the incident, as have three other Iron Pigs. Smith is charged with aggravated assault, perjury, and carrying a concealed pistol without a permit. The assault and concealed pistol charges include alternative counts of simple assault and failure to abide by a permit of a reciprocal state, respectively. Smith could face up to 15 years in prison for the aggravated assault charge and five years for the perjury charge. Both are felonies. The two alternative charges he faces are misdemeanors. Smith has claimed that a group of Hells Angels that included McGuire attacked him the night of Aug. 9 and that he shot McGuire in self-defense. McGuire, a 33-year-old Imperial Beach, Calif. resident, faces one count of aggravated assault and an alternative count of simple assault. Three other bikers from Seattle and one from Colorado also have been charged with carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. Those facing that charge include 38-year-old Scott Lazalde of Bellingham, Wash., James Rector, 37, of Ferndale, Wash., Erik Pingel, 35, of Aurora, Colo. and 58-year old Seattle resident Dennis McCoy. The men face alternative counts of failure to abide by a permit of a reciprocal state. Both charges are misdemeanors carrying a maximum of one year in jail. Defendants in a criminal case can be convicted of either the charge or the alternative charge, but not both. The Iron Pigs are a national motorcycle club made up of police and firefighters. Smith and four fellow Seattle police officers who were accompanying him were placed on administrative leave after the shooting, according to a statement by Seattle Police at the time, but Smith was only briefly detained by local authorities before being allowed to return to Washington. The release did not indicate if the police officers who were placed on leave are the same ones who have been charged with the concealed weapons violation. McGuire is not listed in the directory at Rapid City Regional Hospital. However, a story in the Seattle Post Intelligencer indicated McGuire was removed from intensive care about a week after the shooting and was recovering from gunshot wounds to his stomach and leg. No court dates have been set yet, according to the release. Warrants and summonses for the defendants will be “issued and served, as appropriate,” the release said. Jurors first convened on Aug. 10 for about seven hours – interviewing 25 people about what happened in the moments leading up to the shooting – before meeting again Wednesday.

Contact Ryan Woodard at 394-8412 or ryan.woodard@rapidcityjournal.com

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