RCSD: 83 people arrested due to riots, more arrests could come this week

Authorities need the public's help in identifying six suspects for their role in the riots

RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. (WOLO) — Throughout the last month, authorities have been working around the clock trying to find people who sought to cause damage throughout Columbia following peaceful protests last May.

“We’re continuing to work, we’re going to continue looking for people. Lots of videos out there that was provided by the media, but also social media and our surveillance videos too,” said Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department and Columbia Police Department say 83 people have been charged for taking part in the riot. Sheriff Lott said a dozen more arrests could be made this week, but he needs the public’s help in identifying six suspects specifically.

On cell phone suspect is seen throwing a tear gas canister at a barricade of police officers lined up in downtown Columbia. Once it was thrown back, the canister ended up hitting two officers. Surveillance videos show the man, who was seen wearing a white shirt and a face-mask.

Deputies are also looking for a man who sprayed an unknown chemical at officers.

“We had some police officers who had blisters on them when they were hit with the irritant. He was spraying something on us,” Sheriff Lott said. 

Deputies need help in identifying a man seen spray painting a parking garage near the Columbia Police Department, a woman seen holding a sign earlier in the protests who threw a water bottle at a deputy, a man who hurled a brick into a crowd, and a man involved in an attack on a person working in the Vista.

Sheriff Lott said he is going to continue supporting peaceful protests, but also said he will seek to bring those who look to wreak havoc on the community accountable.

“Probably the easiest thing I’m asking is just to turn yourselves in. If you see yourself on TV, read about it, and you know that’s you, it’ll just save you from having to have a knock on your door about 4:00 in the morning and having handcuffs put on you. If you go ahead and contact the Columbia Police Department or Sheriff’s Department, we will welcome you to come on in,” Sheriff Lott said.

If you have any information regarding these suspects, please call Crime Stoppers at 1 (888) CRIME SC.

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