Glen Mitchell “Mitch” Simon, a Minot native, posted this photo of himself on social media after leaving the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Image from social media

A Minot native who helped storm the U.S. Capitol last year may face stiffer criminal charges than he expected after amateur sleuths discovered images of him battling with police outside the building.

Waterville High School Panther headgear worn by Mitch Simon inside the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot that he admitted in court papers he participated in. Screenshot from video

Early in January, a Twitter account devoted to tracking down the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol a year earlier noticed something on a new video clip released by the Los Angeles Times: a guy tossing something at police trying to hold back the unruly crowd.

Alongside screen grabs that captured the moment, @SometimesUsefu2 wrote in a tweet describing the discovery, “This guy in green throws a small, blue object apparently at the cops. Has he ever been noticed before?”

Other volunteer, online investigators quickly identified the man as someone they’d tagged #PurplePantherPunk, one of hundreds of identities they created last year as they tried to figure out who was who in the mob that bashed through police lines to swarm into the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

He got the name because in one photo inside the Capitol, he is seen wearing a head covering showing a purple panther with Waterville written beneath it, likely related to the mascot at Waterville Senior High School in Maine.

It didn’t take long for #PurplePantherPunk’s name to emerge: Glen Mitchell “Mitch” Simon, a Minot native who ran a tree service company in Georgia and had already cut a plea deal with prosecutors. He graduated from Poland Regional High School about 2010.


Four days after the tweet about him throwing the object, a U.S. attorney filed a motion to hit the brakes on a plea deal they had already reached with Simon to accept guilt for the crime of demonstrating inside the closed Capitol, which he’d done for at least 42 minutes that day alongside hundreds of others trying to stop Congress from certifying the election of President Joe Biden.

But “new evidence” requiring “further investigation” caused the government to pull out of the deal, prosecutor Laura Hill said.

In short, when prosecutors saw the footage of Simon throwing an unidentified object at police — and other footage that appeared to show him tussling with officers directly at a barricade — they insisted he plead guilty to a more serious crime: disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building, which could land him in federal prison for a year.

Glen Mitchell “Mitch” Simon, whose green sleeve can be seen on the left side, allegedly threw a small item, visible left center above people’s heads in the crowd Jan. 6, 2021. Screenshot from video

Simon is scheduled to appear Friday before Chief Judge Beryl Howell of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., where he might accept or refuse the new terms that prosecutors are offering. If he accepts, the government hopes he’ll be sentenced in mid-March.

The U.S. attorney’s office said in a court filing that if Simon turns down the deal, it intends to file additional charges against him.

Simon, 30, is free on his own recognizance, apparently in Georgia, where he has lived in recent years. He could not be reached for comment Monday.


Shortly after the failed insurrection last January, Simon told the Sun Journal he had never gone inside the building. He said Congress is full of “absolutely grimy, disgusting monsters,” but denied he had gone past the outside steps, and insisted his deleted video never showed anything inside the building.

But as part of his now-canceled plea deal, Simon admitted that he lied.

In his confession, he said he entered the Capitol at 2:14 p.m., about 15 minutes after the first people busted through doors and windows to gain access to the closed building, and walked around inside. Some of them caused damage or issuing threats to hang Vice President Mike Pence, who was overseeing the certification process in the U.S. Senate.

While inside, court documents indicate that Simon recorded himself saying, “Did they invite us in? F*** no, they didn’t. This is our house! Free men don’t ask for permission!”

Simon was arrested in May  He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in October. More than 725 other people who invaded the Capitol have also been charged with an array of crimes.

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