Arrested Patriot Front Member Told Dad He Won't Leave Group: 'No Remorse'

A member of the Patriot Front hate group reportedly told his father he would not leave the organization and had "no remorse" despite being arrested in connection to the group's alleged anti-LGBT activity.

Bruce Simpson, of Ellensburg, Washington, told The Seattle Times that his 20-year-old son Spencer claimed he did not regret being arrested alongside other members of Patriot Front earlier this month in Idaho.

Thirty-one men believed to be associated with the white supremacist group were arrested on June 11 in Coeur d'Alene after police received a call from a bystander. The men were seen getting into a U-Haul truck close to a hotel while they wore riot gear, including masks and shields. Police suspected the group had been planning to disrupt the Pride in the Park event in the city.

In a June 16, Telegram post, Patriot Front said its members had been planning a "peaceful protest" and called the charges against them "fraudulent."

Members of Patriot Front in Washington D.C.
The father of a Patriot Front member arrested in Idaho said that his son won't leave the group. Above, members of Patriot Front march with anti-abortion activists during the March for Life rally on January 21, 2022, in Washington, D.C. Getty

Simpson told The Seattle Times he was shocked to learn that his son had been arrested through the news. He said he told Spencer: "Well, I didn't expect to read about you in The New York Times."

Despite being arrested, Simpson said his son expressed no regrets and remained dedicated to Patriot Front. He told the publication: "There is no remorse. He has said to both my wife and I, 'no matter what I am not leaving the group.'"

Spencer, a student at Central Washington University, later said he would be moving out from the family home and "bunk with some guys in Texas or wherever."

But Simpson said that he was concerned that if his son left, it could make things worse, telling The Seattle Times, "If I thought that kicking him out would work, I would. But I really feel like he would be more vulnerable if we did that."

The Southern Poverty Law Center defines Patriot Front as a "white nationalist hate group" that "focuses on theatrical rhetoric and activism that can be easily distributed as propaganda for its chapters across the country."

The group formed in the aftermath of the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia when it broke away from the extremist group Vanguard America.

Newsweek found numerous instances on Telegram in which Patriot Front has attempted to share its rhetoric across the U.S., largely in the form of banners and fliers. A video recently posted on TikTok allegedly showed Patriot Front members engaged in sparring and physical training with one another.

Patriot Front's most public event prior to the mass arrest in Idaho was when dozens of its members marched down the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in December. The demonstrators carried American flags and wore white ski masks and similar uniforms during their march.

The group uses iconography associated with the U.S. in many of its posts and public displays and glorifies figures from American history, including President George Washington and World War II General George S. Patton.

Newsweek reached out to Central Washington University, the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office, and the German Institute on Radicalization and De-radicalization Studies for comment.