Man who vandalized soldier’s Columbia home during protest is arrested, deputies say

Noah Feit
·2 min read

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, the sheriff’s department said in a news release.

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, according to the 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.

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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.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.