Police: Columbia man tried to throw Molotov cocktails at protesters
COLUMBIA —Jeffery William Cotton of Columbia tried to use a Molotov cocktail against peaceful protesters on June 1 in downtown Columbia, according to a probable cause statement regarding his arrest.
Cotton was charged Wednesday with a misdemeanor for promoting civil disorder.
Cotton told police that demonstrators, who were protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, had damaged his car, and out of anger, he returned with Molotov cocktails to get back at them, according to the probable cause statement.
The protest that evening was marred by two women being struck by vehicles. Police have not released information concerning those two incidents.
Cotton started fires by throwing a Molotov cocktail toward protesters in the street near North Providence Road and East Broadway, the probable cause statement said. Police found Molotov cocktails in the back of his truck.
Police spoke to Cotton around 6:15 p.m., and he told police he was not the only one starting fires.
One witness said Cotton told him that he "should have done worse," according to the probable cause statement.
Cotton has been arrested in the past for driving while intoxicated and domestic assault.