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Soldier Arrested in Assault on Black Man Walking by His House

Jonathan Pentland told victim, 'You're in the wrong neighborhood'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2021 7:45 AM CDT

(Newser) – "I didn't do anything to you," a Black man tells a white man in a viral video. "I'm about to do something to you," responds Jonathan Pentland, an active-duty soldier, who was demanding the man leave his neighborhood, known as the Summit, in Columbia, SC. The video, filmed Monday, began with a female bystander saying that police had already been called. The Black man, who was standing on a sidewalk, calmly explained that he lived in the area. "You better start walking right now. You're in the wrong neighborhood, m-----f-----. Get out!" Pentland tells him, getting in his face, per ABC News. "You're the aggressor, buddy," the bystander adds, immediately before Pentland shoves the man as he looks ready to step off the sidewalk and onto a lawn. After the video ended, Pentland again shoved the man again and knocked his phone out of his hand, according to Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott.

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Pentland, 42, was arrested Wednesday on charges of third-degree assault and battery. If convicted, the soldier assigned to Fort Jackson could face 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. The sheriff's department said a neighbor had asked Pentland to intervene after the unidentified Black man "approached several neighbors in a threatening manner." Lott said the victim—who was allegedly involved in two other incidents on the same street within three days last week, per the Washington Post—may have done so as a result of an unspecified medical condition. He referred to Pentland, whose family was relocated after protesters vandalized their home, as a bully and aggressor. But State Sen. Mia McLeod said the incident reflected "race-based hate." A man was accosted, demeaned, and publicly humiliated "by an angry white man," she said from the State House floor, per ABC. "For what? For walking down the street while Black." (Read more assault stories.)

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