Man Arrested for Vandalizing Home of Fort Jackson Soldier in Viral Video, Deputies Say



A man was arrested for vandalizing the home of a white Fort Jackson soldier who was seen on a video assaulting a young Black man, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department said Tuesday.

Taijier Isaiah Ellis, 25, was charged with malicious injury to real property, and breach of peace in the April 14 incident, Richland County court records show.

Cell phone video taken at the scene shows Ellis using a baseball bat to smash lights on the front of the home of Jonathan Pentland, the sheriff’s department said in a news release.

Ellis is later seen walking away and throwing the bat into a storm drain, where it was recovered and collected as evidence, the sheriff’s department said.

In addition to the smashed lights, objects were thrown at the home, including one that went through an upstairs window, according to the sheriff’s department. No injuries were reported.

Another video, which gained national attention, prompted the protest. That video shows the 42-year-old Pentland interrogating a Black man about what he is doing in the Columbia neighborhood and then repeatedly telling him to leave. He pushes the Black man at one point.

Pentland, a sergeant 1st class and instructor at Fort Jackson, was suspended by the Army after he was charged with third-degree assault and battery.

Before charging Ellis, the sheriff’s department said it consulted with the 5th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

Ellis was arrested by Columbia Police around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday in the 500 block of Gervais Street, according to the release.

Officers responded to the area after a report of a person looking into cars and trying to get into a closed business, the sheriff’s department said. Ellis was taken into custody when officers learned he had active warrants from the sheriff’s department and he was turned over to Richland County deputies, according to the release.

“It was the videos, pictures and information from people at the scene that were instrumental in getting Ellis identified and ultimately arrested,” Sheriff Leon Lott said in the release. “The community has shown that they will not tolerate these criminal acts undermining their right to peacefully protest.”

Ellis was taken to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, the sheriff’s department said. His bond was set at $3,212.50 on the combined charges, court records show.

The maximum punishment Ellis would face is 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted on the misdemeanor malicious injury to real property, and the punishment for breach of peace is at the discretion of the court, according to South Carolina law.

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

This article is written by Noah Feit from The State and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@industrydive.com.

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