‘Turn yourselves in’: Sheriff says search for agitators in May protests continues

‘Turn yourselves in’: Sheriff says search for agitators in May protests continues

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The Richland County Sheriff’s Department and the Columbia Police Department are continuing their search for agitators who were involved in illegal activity during protests that took place in May.

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Posted by WIS TV on Monday, June 29, 2020

So far, Sheriff Leon Lott said 83 arrests have been made as part of this ongoing investigation. However, he added more arrests will be made this week.

“I guess probably the easiest thing that I’m asking, just go ahead and turn yourselves in if you see yourself on TV, read about it and know that’s you,” Sheriff Lott said. “It’ll just save you from having to have a knock on your door at about 4 o’clock in the morning and having handcuffs put on you. If you go ahead and contact the Columbia Police Department or the sheriff’s department, we’ll welcome you to come on in.”

The sheriff’s department has previously arrested and charged agitators from the protests held on May 30. Those who have been arrested have been charged with instigating a riot.

Among those who were arrested were two members of the Boogaloo group, who is known as an extremist group looking to start a civil war.

However, Sheriff Lott said there were six people who were identified during Monday’s press conference who are sought for their involvement in the riots that weekend.

The first suspect is a man who was wearing a red hat and a black “Sniper Gang” shirt with the word “Sticks” on the back. Authorities said the man was seen stomping a Vista business employee after he was knocked unconscious. He is facing a charge for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature among other charges, according to the sheriff’s department.

This suspect is wanted following an attack against a Vista business employee.
This suspect is wanted following an attack against a Vista business employee. (Source: Richland County Sheriff's Department)

The second suspect is a man who was dressed in a black shirt and wearing a black bandana. Authorities said the man was spray painting a garage across the street from the Columbia Police Department headquarters. This man, according to officials, was also seen destroying surveillance cameras in downtown Columbia.

This man is accused of vandalizing a parking garage and destroying surveillance cameras in downtown Columbia.
This man is accused of vandalizing a parking garage and destroying surveillance cameras in downtown Columbia. (Source: Richland County Sheriff's Department)

The third suspect is a man wanted for throwing a brick into a crowd during the protest. Officials said the brick hit a woman in the face, seriously injuring her eye. He was wearing a black shirt, black pants, and a black bandana.

Officials said this man threw a brick and hit a woman. The woman was left with an eye injury, according to officials.
Officials said this man threw a brick and hit a woman. The woman was left with an eye injury, according to officials. (Source: Richland County Sheriff's Department)

The fourth suspect is a man wanted for spraying an unknown chemical on law enforcement officers. The man was wearing a hat and a light-colored bandana.

Officials said this man is wanted for spraying an unknown chemical on law enforcement officials during the protests.
Officials said this man is wanted for spraying an unknown chemical on law enforcement officials during the protests. (Source: Richland County Sheriff's Department)

The fifth suspect is a man wanted for throwing a tear gas canister at law enforcement after it was deployed. Officials said the canister hit two officers. The man was wearing a medical mask and a white shirt.

This man is wanted by authorities in Richland County after throwing a tear gas canister that was deployed to disperse a crowd during the protest. The canister, according to officials, hit two officers.
This man is wanted by authorities in Richland County after throwing a tear gas canister that was deployed to disperse a crowd during the protest. The canister, according to officials, hit two officers. (Source: Richland County Sheriff's Department)

The sixth suspect is a woman wanted for throwing a water bottle at law enforcement. She was seen at the protest carrying a sign. Officials said the water bottle she threw hit a Richland County deputy.

All six suspects will face charges of inciting a riot and aggravated breach of peace.

If you have any information regarding these suspects, please contact Crimestoppers in one of the following ways:

PHONE TIP — Call the toll free number at 1-888-CRIME-SC (888-274-6372).

WEB TIP — Go to www.midlandscrimestoppers.com and click “Submit a Tip”.

MOBILE TIP — Download the new P3 Tips app on your Apple or Android Device.

You can provide information anonymously through Midlands Crime Stoppers. Your tip could earn you a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for this crime.

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