Sioux Falls man charged with simple assault near Balcer Apartments

A 41-year-old man was charged with simple assault following gunshots late Tuesday night.

Around 12:30 a.m., John Paul Thinelk, a Sioux Falls resident, was banging on windows near 33rd and Duluth, according to Sioux Falls police spokesman Sam Clemens. A man inside one of the houses, the victim of the simple assault, saw that Thinelk had a gun.

The victim grabbed a handgun and went outside, Clemens said. Thinelk pointed his gun at the victim, who then fired his handgun twice at Thinkelk.

Thinelk ran and jumped in the passenger seat of a car and left the scene, according to Clemens. Police officers in the areafollowed the car, stopping them near 33rd and Summit outside the Balcer Apartments at Augustana University.

Before the car stopped, Thinelk threw the gun out the side window, and police discovered it was a BB gun, Clemens said.

Police then returned to 33rd and Duluth to talk with the victim of the simple assault, Clemens said. The handgun used to fire two shots was discovered to have been reported stolen from an unlocked car in Sioux Falls about one month ago. Police are investigating how the victim came to own the gun.

The victim’s name is not available because of the simple assault charges against Thinelk, according to Clemens. However, the victim will be charged with possession of a stolen handgun and drug charges related to small amounts of meth and marijuana found inside the house.

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