Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Protester Kicks Biker as He Rides Past

A man has been arrested for allegedly kicking a biker at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota rally over the weekend during a largely peaceful protest.

Video posted on social media appears to show several police officers detaining the suspect while surrounded by a large crowd of bikers taking part in the annual rally.

One clip of the arrest was posted on Twitter with the caption "Antifa actually showed up to Sturgis today" although it is unclear if the anti-fascist movement were involved in the protest.

A second video also appears to show the moment the suspect kicks out at a biker as he rides past him on his motorbike.

Geody VanDewater, Sturgis chief of police, said officers were aware of the planned protest against the large rally which went ahead amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hundreds of thousands of riders arrived from all over the country to the rally in the South Dakota town.

Mask-wearing was not mandatory and social distancing did not appear to be enforced in the bars and on the streets, prompting fears the rally could help spread the virus.

"They expressed their First Amendment right as well as the demonstrators and for the most part, it was civil and everybody was well behaved until one of the demonstrators decided to kick a motorcyclist on his motorcycle," VanDewater told KEVN.

The suspect, from Rapid City, South Dakota, was arrested for disorderly conduct, Vandewater told the Associated Press.

Eli Villarreal was one of those who recorded the protester being arrested by officers at the rally.

"The international attention right now is on Sturgis, with the COVID-19 and everything and I know that people are going to want to see this and see what's going on here," Villarreal told KEVN.

"We're in the spotlight right now, Sturgis, this is the biggest event held in probably the world since the COVID broke out so all eyes are on us right now. That's the reason I pulled out the phone so people can see what's going on here."

Sturgis Police have been contacted for further comment.

Elsewhere, the South Dakota Highway Patrol confirmed that a total of five people died while taking part in the mass rally, three more than last year.

A 64-year-old male riding a 1981 Harley Davidson XLH motorcycle northbound Sturgis Road, mile marker 43, within the city limits of Piedmont, died from his injuries after crashing on Friday, August 14. The victim was struck by a southbound 2019 Chevrolet Equinox that had crossed the centerline. Charges are pending against the 47-year-old driver of the Equinox.

A 56-year-old man who was thrown from his motorbike after crashing into a ditch on U.S. Highway 16A in Custer State Park on Monday, August 10, died from his injuries on Friday. The man, who was riding a 2003 Harley Davidson Heritage, was not wearing a helmet at the time.

Two people also died after being involved in a three-way collision on U.S. Highway 14A, mile marker 49, three miles west of Sturgis on August 10.

William Cooper, 22, of College Station, Texas, was airlifted to a Rapid City hospital where he later was pronounced dead.

Ronald Ratzel, 55, of Ceres, New York, was pronounced dead at the scene. Steven Peterson, 60, of Cuba, New York, also suffered non-life threatening injuries as a result of the crash. None of the riders were wearing helmets at the time.

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Motorcyclists ride through downtown Deadwood, South Dakota during the 80th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally on August 8, 2020. Michael Ciaglo/Getty
Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Protester Kicks Biker as He Rides Past | U.S.