Fort Jackson Army Sergeant Jonathan Pentland Convicted for Confronting Mentally Ill Man Accused of Threatening and Harassing Neighbors
Judge Diedra Hightower found Army Sergeant Jonathan Pentland guilty on August 24, 2024 for assaulting a black man in a neighborhood in northeast Columbia, South Carolina. Though there’s more to the incident than meets the eye.
Pentland was originally suspended by military leaders after he confronted Deandre Williams, a black male who has a history of mental health issues and misbehavior such as criminal trespassing and animal abuse.
According to accounts from several witnesses, Williams was behaving in an “erratic” manner prior to the confrontation with Pentland. Kimberly Hernandez, an individual who lives in Pentland’s neighborhood, gave testimony that pointed to several members of her family having tense encounters with Williams prior to the incident.
Hernandez claimed that Williams frequently approached one of Hernandez’s daughters while she was walking the family dog in the neighborhood.
“I don’t care if he walks in the area,” Hernandez stated. “I didn’t want him stopping my daughter anytime he was outside.”
In another encounter, Williams allegedly picked up a baby belonging to Hernandez’s daughter-in law.
After the incident where Williams allegedly picked up the baby, Hernandez’s daughter-in-law decided to go outside on April 12, the day Williams’ confrontation with Pentland took place, and decided to confront Williams. She sternly told Williams that he was not allowed to touch her child.
“I went outside expecting them to be right outside and I saw my daughter-in-law arguing with him and I told her to quickly come back to the house,” Hernandez recalled.
The daughter-in-law came back but Williams still followed her, Hernandez noted.
“He was angry by the time he approached me. He was already erratic and jumping back and forth. He was telling me he did nothing wrong,” Hernandez recounted.
According to Hernandez, Williams started getting loud and even got very close to Hernandez, to the point where he was unintentionally spitting in her face.
“I would think he would start to walk away, but immediately he would come back and come back to me,” Hernandez started.
After witnessing Hernandez and Williams shouting at each other, neighbor Renee Wilson testified that she called the police after hearing a man and a woman screaming at each other.
Hernandez then went over to Pentland’s house and knocked on his door asking for help.
Pentland came out and confronted Williams. He eventually pushed Williams to prevent him from potentially hurting his wife or neighbors.
This encounter sparked outrage among members of the community who decided to organize a mob in front of Pebtland’s house.
According to Sheriff Leon Lott’s account of the event, Pentland got physical with Williams, where witnesses claimed that Pentland shoved and hit him on the arm. When leftist activists caught wind of the incident, they cobbled together a mob to stand outside of Pentland’s house to protest and mentally break him.
The Richland County Sheriff’s Department then pressed charges against Pentland a few days after a video of the Army sergeant confronting Williams went viral.
Pentland’s attorney, Benjamin Allen Stitely, made a compelling case that the confrontation was sparked by Williams’ behavior before the camera recording started and that Pentland was justified in getting in Williams’ face.
Stitely pushed back against the allegations coming from leftists who said that Pentland was “a bully and a racist. He was defending his family and friends.”
Pentland’s defense stressed that the videos being used lacked context that go back to a few days.
“I would have never put my hands on him other than self-defense,” Pentland said in his testimony. Towards the end of the incident, as Williams was walking away, Williams pointed his phone at Pentland’s house and said he would come back according to Pentland’s testimony.
When Pentland was asked if he saw Williams’ behavior as a threatening gesture, Pentland said, “It was a direct threat to me and my family, 100%…There was no question in my mind he was going to be back.”
The defense also argued that law enforcement failed to carry out a proper investigation.
“In all these investigations, when the sheriff had already made a warrant, not one of them came and asked the people who lived there what happened,” Stitely proclaimed in his final statement. “They didn’t want the truth. They wanted to make up a bully for TV’s sake.”
During the trial, the defense repeatedly posed the question “what would you do?” if any of the parties in attendance were in Pentland’s position. For his part, Pentland stands by his actions.
“If I were in the situation I’d do the same thing again. I can’t let someone threaten my family,” Pentland testified.
Once Pentland’s case went through the legal system, he eventually received a guilty verdict for third-degree assault and battery after a two-day bench trial at Richland County magistrate court. Pentland was sentenced to either 30 days in prison or a fine of $1,087.
In its present state, the US is no longer a nation of laws. It’s one governed by the passions of leftist outrage mobs. Pentland’s ordeal is just a preview of the mob rule that is yet to come.