Jonathan Pentland, a sergeant first class in the U.S. Army, was found guilty of third-degree assault and battery after pushing a Black man in a South Carolina neighborhood back in April.
A judge ordered the Fort Jackson instructor to either spend 30 days in jail for the misdemeanor charge or pay a $1,087 fine, according to CNN. Pentland’s lawyer plans to appeal the decision.
As The Root previously reported, Pentland was seen in a viral video harassing the man as he was making his way through the neighborhood. “You’re in the wrong neighborhood,” Pentland is heard saying to the man. “I ain’t playing with you. ... I’m about to show you what I can do.”
Pentland was eventually suspended pending the investigation.
Here is more on this story, per CNN:
Taking the stand during the trial, Pentland said a neighbor banged on his door and asked for help, according to CNN affiliate WIS. The neighbor said the victim had been bothering her daughter and grandson, WIS reported.
The victim “stated he minded his own business before Pentland approached him,” WIS reported.
In the video, Pentland is seen pushing the young man shortly after Pentland tells him, “You are aggressing on the neighborhood.”
“You either walk away or I’m going to carry your a** out of here,” Pentland says.
“I did not do anything,” the young man responds.
“I am about to do something to you. You better start walking,” Pentland says in the video. “You’re in the wrong neighborhood m*therf**ker. Get out.”
Pentland’s attorney claimed there was a “lack of investigation into the background factors regarding Mr. Williams’ actions leading up to the small portion of the encounter captured in the viral video,” Stitely said in the statement.
The Richland County Sheriff’s Department said in April there were two previous incidents reported to deputies involving the young man, one allegedly involving him touching a woman without consent. The other involved him allegedly picking up a baby without permission.
The department claimed the victim has an “underlying medical condition that may explain the behavior exhibited in the alleged incidents.”
According to Army Times, a Fort Jackson spokesperson said officials will allow Pentland to exhaust all of his civilian appeals, if he decides to appeal, before considering further actions.