Updated: July 28, 2020 06:10 PM
Created: July 28, 2020 12:37 PM
A man who was spotted inciting violence during the George Floyd protests, known as "Umbrella Man" due to the umbrella he was carrying, is believed to be a member of the Hell's Angels and an associate of the Aryan Cowboys biker gang, according to an affidavit.
A search warrant application filed Monday in Hennepin County District Court states, on the afternoon of May 27, a man seen wearing all black and carrying an umbrella was spotted walking along the front of a Minneapolis AutoZone and smashing out the windows with a sledgehammer. The AutoZone was kitty-corner from the Minneapolis Third Police Precinct.
It continues, stating that people approached the man and gestured like they wanted him to stop smashing the windows. Authorities also learned the man had spray-painted "free [expletive] for everyone zone" on double red doors at the AutoZone. As he walked away, video showed a man in a pink shirt yelling at him but the "Umbrella Man" walks away westbound.
In the affidavit, the officer states that the protests had been relatively peaceful to that point but after the AutoZone's windows were smashed out, looting started and a fire was then set, which then extended to the Third Precinct and other parts of the city. The officer adds that the "Umbrella Man" appeared to only want to incite violence.
Within the past week, authorities received a tip about the "Umbrella Man," the affidavit states. Authorities contacted the tipster, who said the information came from another person who wanted to remain anonymous out of fear of the man.
The affidavit states authorities then confirmed the man the tipster identified, who is a full-fledged member of the Hell's Angels and a known associate of the Aryan Cowboys, a prison biker gang out of Minnesota and Kentucky.
It adds that authorities confirmed the man was also present during an incident on June 27 in Stillwater when a Muslim woman said she was racially harassed by a biker group wearing Aryan Cowboy vests, as he was pictured with the group.
The man in question has a lengthy criminal record and, when authorities compared the photo of the "Umbrella Man" to the man's previous booking photos, they found "a striking resemblance," according to the affidavit. It notes eye, nose bridge and brow area match, and the man's size fits the build of the "Umbrella Man."
The search warrant sought to allow authorities to check the man's cellphone location on May 27.
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