RAPID CITY, S.D. - Authorities say four suspects are in custody after the assault of 34–year–old South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper, Zac Bader.
It happened during what's been described as a "routine" traffic stop shortly after 11 o'clock Saturday morning.
State public safety officials say Trooper Bader suffered serious, but non–life threatening injuries and is currently hospitalized in intensive care and listed under stable condition.
Officials say Trooper Bader initiated the traffic stop at mile marker 70 on Interstate 90 when he was assaulted.
The suspects then fled the scene and Pennington County Sheriff's deputies apprehended them near Wall shortly after.
The four suspects are all residents of the state of Washington.
33–year–old Donald Willingham has been charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault on law enforcement and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute in excess of one pound.
26–year–old Desiree Sukert and 22–year–old Jonathan Melendez are being charged with accessory to attempted murder, accessory to aggravated assault on law enforcement as well as possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
23–year–old Chase Sukert has been charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute in excess of one pound.
All of the suspects are in custody at the Pennington County Jail.
Governor Dennis Daugaard said in a statement, "Trooper Bader is a sterling example of the men and women who protect our state everyday. We thank him for his service and send prayers to him and his family."
The Pennington County Sheriff's Office is leading the investigation.
Investigators ask anyone who may have seen the assault or has information, to call 394–2151.
We will provide more information on the incident as it becomes available.
If you would like to make a donation to Trooper Bader and his family, visit www.GoFundMe.com and search "Support for Zac Bader HP73."