Jackson County man latest Georgian arrested in Jan. 6 riot

A Jackson County man with a history of engaging in right-wing protests is the latest Georgian to be charged with participating in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Glen Mitchell “Mitch” Simon, 30 of Jefferson, was charged in federal court in Gainesville Wednesday with entering a restricted building and violent and disorderly conduct inside the Capitol. The arrest caught his estranged wife, Nicole Simon, off guard.

“I’ve known him since I was 15 years old. He’s a very strongminded guy, very hard working,” she said. “Even if he is wrong for what he’s done to me and the kids, I’ll be here for him as a person.”

Simon owns a tree removal business in Jackson County, which is 60 miles northeast of Atlanta.

Nicole Simon, who cares for the couple’s three children, declined to comment on the record about her husband’s charges or his state of mind. She had not been in contact with him recently, she said.

According to court records, Simon has been a suspect in the riot for months. In an interview with the FBI on Jan. 14, Simon said he attended the pro-Trump rally and marched on the Capitol, but said he never he never made it past the Capitol steps.

Authorities say they believe Simon lied and have unearthed security camera footage showing him in several locations inside the Capitol.

Simon came to the attention of the FBI thanks to two anonymous tipsters who reported posts Simon allegedly made on his Facebook page, including one photo apparently taken outside the Capitol.

In the post, Simon allegedly wrote that he felt “like I took about 50 bong rips of pepper spray today” and said the photo was a “victory picture after the ramming through of the capital (sic) building.”

The post included the hashtag “#congressranawayscared.”

The FBI used Simon’s hat, gloves and tactical vest in the photo to identify him in security footage.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution could not reach Simon for comment, but the Maine native did speak to his hometown newspaper, the Lewiston Sun Journal, shortly after the riot. He defended his actions and those of fellow rioters, who he described as “patriots.”

In the article, Simon described members of Congress as “absolutely grimy, disgusting monsters” and said he was there to defend President Donald Trump.

“There’s only so far that you can push people,” he told the newspaper. “Something’s got to give.”

As with the FBI, Simon denied entering the Capitol, although his comments to the newspaper suggest that he thought it justified.

“That is the people’s place. We own that place,” he said. “They want to say we breached it, but, well, it’s ours.”

Simon told the newspaper he had traveled to several states over the past year to counter-protest Black Lives Matter and antifa. Last August, Simon attended a militia-led rally in the city of Stone Mountain where he and other far-right demonstrators clashed with left-wing counter demonstrators for much of the day.

Simon is the 10th person with Georgia connections to be charged in the massive investigation into the Jan. 6 riot. More than 400 people have been charged from almost every state with the FBI making new arrests almost every day.