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Home of soldier charged in assault is vandalized, and his family is moved, cops say

Entrance to Fort Jackson, South Carolina (Iris/Flickr)
April 17, 2021

Hours after a white Fort Jackson soldier was charged with assaulting a young Black man, the soldier’s Columbia home was vandalized Wednesday night and law enforcement moved his family to another location, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department said.

Earlier Wednesday, Jonathan Pentland, 42, was charged with third-degree assault and battery, Richland County court records show.

Pentland was called the aggressor by Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott in an incident captured on video and shared on social media. The video, which has gained national attention, shows Pentland interrogating the Black man about what he is doing in the Columbia neighborhood and then repeatedly telling him to leave, police said. He pushes the Black man at one point.

The incident happened in the Summit neighborhood, where Pentland and his family live. It’s a sprawling community, located between Clemson and Hardscrabble roads, that was the site of protests Wednesday.

At about 8:20 p.m., deputies were called to the Pentland home after it was vandalized, the sheriff’s department said in a news release.

Objects were thrown at the home, including one that went through an upstairs window, and a light fixture attached to the home was also broken, according to the release.

No injuries were reported by the sheriff’s department.

Officers moved the family to another location, the sheriff’s department said.

Additionally, deputies closed access on Barony Place Drive and surrounding streets, only allowing residents to enter the area, the release said. The roads were reopened Thursday, Sgt. Brittany Hart told The State.

Information on how long the neighborhood would be blocked off was not made available.

The sheriff’s department is investigating the vandalism.

“While RCSD has always supported peaceful protests, criminal acts will not be tolerated and those who committed this vandalism will face consequences,” the sheriff’s department said in the release.

After being booked at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on the assault charge, Pentland was released on a $2,125 personal recognizance bond, court records show. A condition of his release is an order to avoid all contact with the victim, and Pentland must stay 1,000 yards from the victim’s place of work, home, school or worship, according to court records.

If convicted on the misdemeanor assault charge, Pentland could face a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail and a $500 fine, according to South Carolina law.

Officials at Fort Jackson said the U.S. Army has begun its own investigation into the incident.

“The leaders at Fort Jackson in no way condone the behavior depicted in the video posted recently,” Fort Jackson Commander General Milford Beagle Jr. said in a statement.

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(c) 2021 The State

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