Chicago's Dreadhead Cowboy rides horse on Dan Ryan Expressway, faces 3 charges from ISP

Hollingsworth says on Facebook ride was #KidsLivesMatter protest

ByLeah Hope, Rob Elgas, and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Dreadhead Cowboy rides horse on Dan Ryan Expressway
Chicago's Dreadhead Cowboy slowed traffic and dropped jaws by riding his horse down the Dan Ryan Expressway, all to demand investment for children in disenfranchised neighborhoods.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago's Dreadhead Cowboy slowed traffic and dropped jaws by riding his horse down the Dan Ryan Expressway Monday afternoon.

Illinois State Police said they received multiple calls about a man riding a horse on I-94 southbound starting at 47th Street just before 4:30 p.m.

SPECIAL REPORT: Man rides horse down Dan Ryan Expressway

ABC7 Chicago special report as the Dreadhead Cowboy rode his horse down the Dan Ryan Monday afternoon, in what he called a #KidsLivesMatter protest.

The rider appeared to be Adams Hollingsworth, also known as the Dreadhead Cowboy, who posted live video of him riding on the expressway to his Facebook page.

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.

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

Activists who met Hollingsworth at the end of his ride had a message to share, too.

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

"When it comes to everything we get the bottom of the barrel," another activist, who did not give her name, said. "It's not gonna happen no more. It's time for things to change. And we can keep saying it, but if we don't start moving and grooving it, nothing is gonna happen."

Chopper 7 HD was over the scene Monday afternoon. Hollingsworth galloped and trotted in the local lanes, and appeared to be escorted by a group of motorcyclists, for more than seven miles.

Traffic backed up behind him as he rode south, before he exited the highway around 95th Street just before 5 p.m.

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

Chopper 7HD was over the scene as the Dreadhead Cowboy rode his horse on the Dan Ryan Expressway Monday afternoon.

At his peak speed the horse galloped at about 15 miles per hour, but was averaging around 10-12 mph.

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.

State police said Hollingsworth has been charged with reckless conduct, disobeying a police officer and criminal trespass to state-supported property.

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, ISP 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.

The horse was taken away in a Chicago Mounted Patrol trailer to Animal Care and Control for treatment.

"Nobody's listened to us," said another protester, who did not give her name.. "Only time you're going to listen is if we do stuff radical. There people on my page talking about animal cruelty. They're crying out. Who's crying out for the poor children in our neighborhood?"