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An army sergeant convicted of third-degree assault and battery for hitting a Black man who he claimed was in the wrong neighborhood was shoved by a corporal. Earlier this week (Sept. 1), a magistrate judge ruled that Army Sgt. Jonathan Pentland had been guilty of a misdemeanor and ordered him to pay $1,087 in fines or serve a 30-day prison term. 

According to Pentland, the incident is embarrassing for the community. “I apologize for the way things escalated. Anybody looking over this can see just by watching the video that it appears worse than it actually is. “I took the steps I felt I had to take to protect my friends and family.” 

The first time Pentland made headlines was in April, when a video surfaced of him pushing 22-year-old Deandre Williams. His video shows him telling a Black man to leave his neighborhood in Columbia, South Carolina and threatening to carry his “ass” if he doesn’t comply. 

Williams replied, “I did not do anything,” to which Pentland replied, “I am about to do something to you.”. You should start walking now. You’re in the wrong neighborhood motherfucker. Get out.” 

When Pentland was confronted with the 22-year-old, he pushed and slapped his cellphone out of his hands before being captured. In spite of the attack, he insists that he was simply seeking to help a neighbor he was contacted by, who wanted him to confront Williams after he allegedly harassed her daughter and grandson. 

According to CNN, Pentland’s attorney Benjamin Stitely argues that there wasn’t a thorough investigation of Mr. Williams’ actions prior to the small portion of the encounter captured in the viral video. The sergeant who was suspended from his position as a result of the incident will now challenge the decision of the court. 

In a statement, Stitely said Pentland is deeply injured by the situation and stands by his right to defend his family and home. Several local news outlets have quoted Pentland, who has stated he stands by that right. 

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