South Dakota Casino High-Wire Man Crashes Through Ceiling to Avoid Cops (Spoiler Alert: It Doesn’t Work)

Posted on: September 4, 2019, 06:47h. 

Last updated on: September 4, 2019, 06:51h.

Rapid City, South Dakota’s tiny Rushmore Casino saw a bad bet Wednesday morning by a man who was reportedly evading police, although they weren’t even looking for him.

Sean Granlund did his own high-wire act Wednesday as stunned cops watched, after he fell through the ceiling of Rapid City’s Rushmore Casino. He was later charged by police with just disorderly conduct. (Image: Rapid City Police Department)

Sean Granlund, 33, tried to hide from authorities by sneaking into the tight space above the casino ceiling — only to crash through tiles while hanging upside down like a Cirque du Soleil performer suspended over the gaming floor.

Hiding in Plain Sight

Granlund was apparently trying to hide from police, though it’s unclear why. According to police reports, he initially spotted officers, walked briskly to the lavatory, and made his way into the space above the ceiling, police said. After falling through the tiles, he hung inches from both a slot machine and a dislodged surveillance camera, a photo taken by a patron and reposted by police showed.

When Granlund did reach the floor, a police officer who watched the whole crazy incident was ready for him. Granlund was charged with only disorderly conduct — despite doing substantial damage to the casino’s ceiling and equipment — and taken to a local jail, according to KOTA News.

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported that police arrived at the casino at about 1:30 a.m. and thought something was odd when Granlund headed straight to the restroom upon seeing law enforcement. Cops knocked on the door to the lavatory, but Granlund responded it would be a while before he was done with his business. Officers waited 20 minutes, and then got casino staff to open the bathroom stall door.

When they did, they didn’t see Granlund, but found a small hole in the ceiling and heard “something crawling up there,” police recounted, the newspaper said. About the same time, cops heard a loud crash and Granlund fell through the ceiling, according to KNBN News. As of late Wednesday, police were unsure why he had evaded authorities to begin with.

We weren’t looking for him … up until he came crashing through the ceiling,” Rapid City police spokesman Brendyn Medina was quoted by the Argus Leader.

Rapid City police posted an in flagrante photo on Facebook of Granlund hanging from a wire upside down over the floor.

Officers commented, “We’ve seen this ‘escape hack’ used a number of times before and it always seems to end the same way. Bottom line: Ceilings make a bad choice for evading the police, especially when the police aren’t even looking for you in the first place.”

Police initially responded to the casino to look for a missing person, but not Granlund. The cost to repair the ceiling will be approximately $2,000, police told the Argus Leader.

Rapid City Casinos Site of March Robberies

In March, two other casinos in Rapid City were each the scene of robberies — one attempted and one successfully carried out.

In one case, a 27-year-old local man allegedly tried to steal money from a cash drawer and attempted to sexually assault a woman in a bathroom at Happy Jacks Casino. Based on the victim’s description, police were able to apprehend the alleged suspect a short time later.

When police searched his clothes, they found the victim’s cell phone which she had told officers earlier that he had stolen during their struggle.

In the second incident, an unidentified man scooped up money from a cash register at the Joker’s Casino after brandishing a pistol.

That suspect was described as Native American, about 6 feet tall and very thin, and wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and jeans. It is unclear if he was ever apprehended.

Police did not say if the two March robberies were connected in any way. But they were the latest in a stream of such attacks in Rapid City over the past few years.

Rapid City is South Dakota’s second-largest city — after Sioux Falls. Rapid City is home to several rudimentary casinos.