- Illinois, USA -
On Tuesday, September 22, the Cook County State’s Attorney Office has approved felony animal cruelty charges against 33-year-old ADAM HOLLINGSWORTH (pictured below), a.k.a. the Dreadhead Cowboy.
HOLLINGSWORTH rode his 7-year-old horse named Nu Nu, for several miles down the Dan Ryan Expressway on the afternoon of Monday, September 21.
HOLLINGSWORTH was then arrested on Monday, and charged with reckless conduct, disobeying a police officer, criminal trespass to state supported property, obstruction of traffic, and illegal pedestrian use of a controlled access highway.
He spent the night at the Calumet (5th) District station.
Illinois State Police said they got multiple calls about someone riding a horse on the Dan Ryan southbound at 47th Street at 4:28 p.m.
Numerous people tweeted about the wild scene, which went on for about 30 minutes in total.
CBS Chicago reports that HOLLINGSWORTH’s mission was to bring awareness about violence against children.
He went live on Facebook before being arrested.
If you have watched the video, you know that Nu Nu was being ridden in a dangerous condition as there were many vehicles and motorcycles on the road.
Despite state police troopers telling HOLLINGSWORTH several times to get off the expressway, he refused and rode all the way to 95th Street, as reported by NBC Chicago.
That’s where he was eventually escorted off.
CBS Chicago reports that after HOLLINGSWORTH was taken into custody, somebody else tried forcibly to gain control of the horse.
That somebody else was identified as 55-year-old DARRON LUSTER.
Although he was asked multiple times to let go of the horse, he refused and was arrested for obstructing, but resisted arrest and dropped to the ground, demanding an ambulance.
Once the ambulance arrived, he refused medical attention at the scene and said he would only go inside a police squad car, not an ambulance.
HOLLINGSWORTH’s sister, Lateshia Hollingsworth, said about her brother: “He’s trying to make his voice heard, and yesterday, he was just trying to get his voice heard. He didn’t mean no harm.”
She also said: “He has several horse[s]. He takes care of all of them, I have vet papers on all the horses. So, he means no harm.”
The reality is that a video from Chopper 2 showed that while police were putting Nu Nu into a trailer, troopers noticed several injuries to the mare, and a picture shows the poor animal was bleeding from the left hoof.
Nu Nu was initially evaluated by Animal Care and Control and was then transferred to an animal rescue facility.
NBC Chicago reports that HOLLINGSWORTH was scheduled for a bond hearing on Wednesday, September 23.
Voice For Us note: Putting aside that ALL LIVES MATTER, I have to say that while it is commendable that people fight for causes they believe in, no matter what they are, it is UNACCEPTABLE in this case that in the process an innocent animal was hurt!
UPDATE by Chicago Tribune September 23, 2020 a few minutes ago:
HOLLINGSWORTH “was ordered held on $25,000 bond at a hearing Wednesday.
He faces a felony aggravated animal cruelty charge, along with misdemeanor counts of trespassing and reckless conduct.”
Chicago tribune reports that HOLLINGSWORTH ‘s attorney “strongly disputed that he would ever do anything to harm the horse, calling him a dedicated community activist who was riding down the Dan Ryan as part of a planned protest.
“He loves his horses, he’s passionate about horseback riding, there’s no indication my client would ever do anything … harming his horse,” said Assistant Public Defender Emily Bock.”
Judge David Navarro called the treatment “terrible” and said: “The horse doesn’t know it’s a part of a protest. The horse only knows how it’s been treated. It would appear from (prosecutors) its treatment was criminal.”
According to Assistant State’s Attorney Kevin DeBoni, HOLLINGSWORTH kicked and whipped Nu Nu to continue galloping on the 7.5-mile trip down the expressway. When Nu Nu collapsed on the pavement, was in critical condition.
DeBoni then said: “The animal was extremely dehydrated, its heart rate had doubled, it had cuts to its front legs and its eyes were “dilated to the point where they looked like cartoon eyes. If medical attention was not rendered immediately, the animal would have succumbed to injuries sustained.”