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Angry protester hit a police horse with a flagpole that had a nail sticking out, police say

By Greg Hadley

ghadley@mcclatchy.com

Lisa Joy Simon
Lisa Joy Simon

A Pennsylvania woman is facing multiple criminal charges for resisting arrest and assaulting a police horse after a protest and counter-protest at the state capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, became heated.

According to Harrisburg police, two people were arrested at Saturday’s demonstration, which was aimed at protesting Sharia, Islamic law, and was part of a nationwide network of protests organized by ACT for America, the Associated Press reports.

One of those arrested was Lisa Joy Simon, 23, PennLive.com reports. Simon, from Philadelphia, was one of several people at the event observed carrying weapons, including sharpened bamboo poles and baseball bats, according to PennLive.

According to police reports, a state police corporal mounted on a police horse, Sampson, was trying to move the crowd from the protest onto the sidewalk when Simon hit Sampson with a flagpole that had a half-inch silver nail sticking out of the top, per the Philly Voice.

Police officers then attempted to arrest Simon, who resisted. Photos from PennLive show that she had to be tackled to the ground.

According to court records, Simon now faces five charges: aggravated assault, causing trauma to police animals, using an offensive weapon, obstructing police officers from performing their duties, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

It is unclear if Simon was part of the original anti-Sharia protest or the counter-protest against it. The police report about the arrest notes that protesters from the anti-Sharia rally were moving away from the capitol steps, where they had been standing, and that police officers were attempting to keep the protesters off the street. However, the Associated Press reported that the two arrests of the day took place in the area of the counter-demonstration.

According to police, both Sampson and the officer riding him suffered minimal injuries and were able to continue working. Simon, meanwhile, is being held on $100,000 bail.

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