Woman arrested, charged in connection with threats at Herreid, S.D. school

April 21, 2023

HERRIED, S.D.–A 44 year old Sioux Falls woman is in custody at the Hughes County Jail in connection with an incident earlier this week at the school in Herreid.

A Facebook post from the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office says Mercedes Klingman (pictured) is charged with making terroristic threats, aggravated eluding of law enforcement, possession of a stolen vehicle, reckless driving, driving without a valid driver’s license and obstructing law enforcement. She is being held on a $10,000 cash bond and is awaiting an initial court appearance.

At approximately 11:18pm Wednesday night, the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office received a phone call from a rural resident saying a female entered his yard and said her vehicle had broken down. The vehicle was determined to be a 2017 Chevrolet Impala stolen in Sioux Falls. The female identified herself to the resident as Mercedes Klingman. The citizen gave her a ride to a motel in Mobridge.

Shortly after midnight on April 20, law enforcement personnel from the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office, Walworth County Sheriff’s Office and the Mobridge Police Department took Klingman into custody without incident.

A review of the school’s security camera footage showed Klingman attempt to enter the front entrance of the school at approximately 3:50pm, which was approximately eight minutes prior to her being stopped by the deputy. Klingman then entered the school through the main door, went to the main office, retrieved documents and left the building. The Sheriff’s Office says Klingman entered the school unarmed and appeared to have no intent to cause harm. At this time, investigators believe the incident at the Herreid School was a ruse to evade pursuing law enforcement.

The incident began around 4pm Wednesday when a Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy attempted to stop a stolen vehicle approximately two miles south of Herreid. The female driver stopped, but would not comply with deputies’ commands to exit her vehicle. The driver said she had dropped a male with a gun off at the Herreid School. The driver then took off southbound and a vehicle pursuit was initiated. After approximately two miles, a 911 call came in to the North Central Regional E911 – Mobridge Communications Center a female caller claimed there was a man with a gun in the Herreid School. The pursuit was terminated and deputies responded to the school, but no threat was found.

Campbell County deputies arrived on scene, immediately entered the school and began clearing classrooms. Law enforcement from the surrounding area also responded to assist. There were no injuries and students and staff were allowed to re-enter the building after about 40 minutes.