Activist On Horseback, 'Dreadhead Cowboy,' Holds Up Rush-Hour Traffic

Adam Hollingsworth Cowboy Dan Ryan
Adam Hollingsworth 'Dreadhead Cowboy' gallops onto the Dan Ryan Expressway. Photo credit Facebook/Dreadhead Cowboy

Illinois state police on Monday arrested a protester on horseback for reckless conduct, trespassing and disobeying a police officer after he rode several miles on the Dan Ryan Expressway during rush hour.


Adam Hollingsworth, 33, was taken into custody at 95th Street, and the horse he was riding was turned over to Chicago’s Animal Care and Control Department, the Illinois State Police said in a news release.

Hollingsworth, who is known as the “Dreadhead Cowboy," said he was attempting to draw attention to the city's youngest crime victims.

In a Facebook livestream posted before the arrest, Hollingsworth is seen galloping onto the outbound lanes of the expressway and yelling, "Kids' lives matter."

State police say they and city police met with Hollingsworth Sept. 9 to hear his request about holding a protest on the Dan Ryan. The request was denied in part because of the danger it would create, state police said.

Also arrested Monday was a 55-year-old man who tried to obstruct police after they stopped Hollingsworth, Illinois State Police said. The horse was suffering from injuries to its hooves and saddle sores on the right side of its body, state police said.

Hollingsworth is no stranger to publicity.

He was engaged by the city of Chicago earlier this year to help publicize the U.S. Census and the importance of filling out forms.

Mayor Lightfoot was not pleased with his antics on Monday. “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,” the mayor said in a statement, according to The Associated Press.

Hollingsworth has said he has had problems in the past but is on a benevolent mission to teach people about horses.

“After my uncle introduced me to it, it turned my life around. I wasn’t a bad kid, but I was a bad kid," he said.