‘Dreadhead Cowboy’ faces 3 charges after riding horse on Dan Ryan

Chicago News

CHICAGO — A Chicago man known as the “Dreadhead Cowboy” is facing three charges after riding his horse on the Dan Ryan Monday afternoon.

At around 4:30 p.m., police responded to the southbound lanes of the Dan Ryan after Adam Hollingsworth, 33, better known as the “Dreadhead Cowboy,” was seen riding his horse on the expressway near 35th Street.

He rode for around 30 minutes as traffic slowed to a halt with Illinois State Police and Chicago police following close behind. Police said they asked Hollingsworth and those who were with him to exit the expressway multiple times and said they refused.

They exited at 95th Street and Hollingsworth was placed into custody. He was charged with reckless conduct, disobeying a police officer and criminal trespass.

State police said another man, Darron Luster, 55, attempted to gain control of the horse after Hollingsworth was arrested. Luster was charged with obstructing and resisting arrest.

Earlier this summer, Mayor Lightfoot dubbed Hollingsworth “The Census Cowboy” in an effort to bring awareness around filing out the census.

Hollingsworth rode Monday with the goal of turning more attention to the recent slayings of so many children this past summer.

“The thing is to send a message that our children are dying,” activist Mark Carter said. “That there are no resources coming to our communities.”

They’re calling for the mayor and governor to fund mental health, education and social programs and development in neighborhoods they said have been neglected.

Chicago Animal Control was called to the scene and took the animal to their facility.

The horse, who is called “NuNu,” had multiple injuries when animal control arrived. Police said it was bleeding from the left hoof, its right hoof was injured and the right side of the horse’s body had sores from the saddle.

Police said on Sept. 9, Hollingsworth told them about his plan and it was denied.

At this time, the horse is being temporarily held with Animal Care and Control.

Monday night, the mayor’s office issued the following statement.

“While the Illinois State Police (ISP) is directly leading all police matters around this incident due to the jurisdiction, Mayor Lightfoot has been briefed by the Chicago Police Department, who are assisting ISP. What is clear is that this stunt not only seriously endangered the horse but also the rider and all travelers on the expressway. There is a right way and a wrong way to call attention to issues of great importance and this stunt was decidedly the very wrong way. Furthermore, the Chicago Animal Care and Control (CACC) was on-scene arranging for the treatment of the horse which was injured as a result of this stunt and are now working to transport the animal to a temporary shelter where it can receive proper care.” 

Photos courtesy Vashon Jordan Jr./ @vashon_photo.


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