Chicago's 'Dreadhead Cowboy' charged after riding horse on busy highway during rush hour

Adam Hollingsworth said on Facebook the ride was a #KidsLivesMatter protest

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Tuesday, September 22, 2020
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Chicago's so-called "Dreadhead Cowboy" rode down the Dan Ryan Thursday. He was quickly arrested when he eventually stopped and faces charges.

CHICAGO (WPVI) -- An activist faces charges this morning for riding his horse on a busy highway in Chicago on Monday.

Chicago's so-called Dreadhead Cowboy Adam Hollingsworth is in police custody after police said he rode his horse on the Dan Ryan Expressway during the evening rush.

Hollingsworth is facing several charges including reckless conduct, disobeying a police officer and trespassing on the expressway.

SPECIAL REPORT: Man rides horse down Dan Ryan Expressway

Police said the calls starting coming in just before 4:30 p.m. Monday. Hollingsworth, was going live on social media with a message.

"Kids' lives matter. Until kids' lives matter, until we understand kids' lives matter nothing else matter," he said on a Facebook Live.

In another post earlier on his Facebook page he wrote, "we focus on kids' lives matter this gone keep happening' and told his followers he was going live at 4 p.m., saying, "y'all don't wanna miss this I promise."

Hollingsworth and his supporters said the ride was meant to get the public and politicians' attention to children's needs in the city. They say funding for children's programs, especially in low-income areas, is far from adequate and there is also not enough investment in those communities.

For more than seven miles, escorted by fellow activists on motorcycles, the Dreadhead Cowboy shut down the highway.

The horse was clocked at more than 15 miles per hour before Hollingsworth finally stopped around 95th Street just before 5 p.m.

CHOPPER 7HD: Live over the scene as Dreadhead Cowboy galloped down Dan Ryan

Two Illinois State Police squad cars followed behind Hollingsworth. He was placed under arrest after exiting the highway and taken to the station on East 111th Street.

Illinois State Police said they and Chicago police met with Hollingsworth on September 9 about his desire to protest on the Dan Ryan Expressway. Police said they denied his request and told him he would not be allowed on the Dan Ryan Expressway.

Moments after Hollingsworth was arrested, his fellow activists called out Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Governor JB Pritzker.

"We need the resources in our communities," said activist Mark Carter. "Our children are dying our communities are dying. When will she listen? When will the governor listen."

A crowd gathered after he exited the highway and after his arrest, giving his horse water and pouring water on its neck to help it cool down. Police said Darron Luster, 55, attempted to take control of the horse and refused to release the animal, so he was arrested for obstructing and resisting arrest, police said.

State police said the horse sustained several injuries and was bleeding from the left hoof, injured on its right hoof and the right side of the horse's body had bleeding sores from the saddle.

In photos shared with sister station ABC7, the horse appeared injured and bleeding.

The horse was later spotted by ABC7's Chopper 7HD resting with handlers from Chicago's office of Animal Care and Control.