Cops Zero In On Minnesota's "Umbrella Man"

Suspect identified as Hells Angels member

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Umbrella Man

JULY 28--A tipster has told police that the notorious “Umbrella Man” who instigated a wave of violence in Minneapolis following George Floyd’s death is a 32-year-old member of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang who is a “known associate” of a white supremacist prison gang, according to a search warrant application.

The filing--made yesterday by a Minneapolis Police Department investigator--identifies Mitchell Wesley Carlson, 32, as the individual whose phone records were being sought via warrant from Sprint.

The application, which was approved by a District Court judge, seeks subscriber information, call and text records, and cell tower data and locations for May 27, the day “Umbrella Man” was recorded breaking out the windows of an AutoZone store across the street from the police precinct that was the focus of individuals protesting Floyd's May 25 killing.

According to the court application, before breaking the windows, the suspect--dressed in black and wearing a gas mask and carrying a black umbrella--spray painted the words “free shit for everyone zone” on AutoZone doors.

After the windows were broken with a small hammer, the business was looted and eventually set on fire. “This was the first fire that set off a string of fires and looting” across the local police precinct and the rest of Minneapolis, according to arson investigator Erika Christensen, who swore out the application.

Until “Umbrella Man” vandalized the AutoZone, Christensen wrote, “the protests had been relatively peaceful.” The suspect’s actions “created an atmosphere of hostility,” added Christensen, who reported that, “this individual’s sole aim was to incite violence.”

Details from the search warrant were first reported today by the Star Tribune, which did not name Carlson.

Working with Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents, Christensen was unable to identify “Umbrella Man” until Minneapolis cops received a tip from in individual who fingered Carlson as the vandal. The source, who police interviewed, passed on information “via another person who wished to remain anonymous because they fear Carlson.”

Carlson, the application alleges, is a member of the Hells Angels and a “known associate” of the Aryan Cowboys, a white supremacist prison gang based in Minnesota and Kentucky. Carlson’s rap sheet includes arrests for disorderly conduct, domestic assault, making terroristic threats, and fleeing police.

Christensen was told by her source that Carlson, who lives near Minneapolis, “wanted to sow discord and racial unrest by breaking out the windows and writing what he did on the double red doors.” When video of the vandalism went viral, many protesters contended that “Umbrella Man” was a police officer. In a May 28 Twitter post, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison declared that the vandal “doesn’t look like any civil rights protestor I have ever seen. Looks like a provocateur.”

After being provided Carlson’s name, Christensen discovered that he was present during a June 27 incident in Stillwater, a Minnesota city about 25 miles east of Minneapolis. A Muslim woman, Christensen stated, “was racially harassed by a group of motorcycle club members wearing Aryan Cowboy leather vests.” The 6’ 2” Carlson (pictured above with a drink in his hand) can be seen in photos taken that day.

According to the affidavit, Carlson’s driver’s license photo and several of his mug shots revealed a “striking resemblance” in the “eye, nose bridge, and brow area” to “Umbrella Man.” Additionally, Christensen noted a similarity in height between Carlson and “Umbrella Man” and “a slight variation in Carlson’s left eyebrow that is present in the photos of ‘Umbrella Man.’”

Carlson did not reply to a voicemail or text message sent to the phone number listed in the search warrant. (5 pages)