COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Deputies have arrested a suspect and charged him with vandalizing the home of a man at the center of a viral video that sparked controversy in Richland County.
On April 14, the home of Jonathan Pentland was vandalized: a window was broken, as well as some outdoor lights. This happened after a day of protests in the Summit neighborhood over a video showing Pentland confronting a man on a sidewalk and telling him he did not belong there.
Taijier Ellis, 25, is charged with malicious injury to real property and breach of peace. He was arrested around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday on Gervais Street in downtown Columbia.
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Deputies said cell phone video from April 14 shows Ellis using a baseball bat to smash lights outside Pentland’s home. The video then showed him throwing the bat in a storm drain, where deputies later recovered it as evidence.
“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. “The community has shown that they will not tolerate these criminal acts undermining their right to peacefully protest.”
Just before Ellis’ arrest, police were called to Gervais Street on reports of a man looking into cars and trying to get into a closed business. Officers arrested Ellis and then learned he had warrants for his arrest from the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.
Ellis was turned over to RCSD and booked into the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.
Court records show a judge granted him a personal recognizance bond totaling $3,212.50. He has since posted bond and been released from jail.
Ellis is not allowed to contact Pentland and is not allowed to return to the scene of the incident, the judge ruled. He’s due back in court May 28.
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