A man known as “Dreadhead Cowboy” is facing felony charge of animal cruelty after riding his horse down the Dan Ryan Expressway on Monday. The cowboy, whose real name is Adam Hollingsworth, is facing one count of aggravated animal cruelty.
Hollingsworth was facing charges of using a non-highway vehicle on the highway, obstruction of traffic, criminal trespass, disobeying an officer, and reckless conduct.
Dreadhead was riding his horse up and down the highway yelling “kids lives matter.” for some reason. This appears to be a part of the QAnon conspiracy that has blossomed in the wake of the Jeffrey Epstein suicide. Numerous motorcycles and other vehicles flanked the cowboy as he did his thing.
After Hollingsworth pulled off the highway, he was taken into custody by police. The horse was also taken into the custody of Chicago Animal Care and Control. Officials said the horse had bloody hooves and saddle sores.
It is not known whether Dreadhead will face animal cruelty charges in addition to the other charges filed against him or if the animal cruelty charge is the only charge he will face.
Aggravated Animal Cruelty in Illinois
You can be charged with animal cruelty not only for intentionally abusing animals, but also for failing to properly take care of them. Illinois’ animal cruelty laws are extensive.
Animal abuse based on neglect is almost always charged as a misdemeanor, but in this case, authorities will be charging Dreadhead with a felony. Felony animal abuse cases are typical of second offenses or extremely egregious cases. In this case, authorities believe that Hollingsworth’s neglect rose to statute or intentional abuse.
Saddle sores, like bedsores, can be extremely painful, and if they become infected, they can be deadly. Since the only way for a horse to get saddle sores is for the horse’s owner to leave their saddle on for extended periods of time and then fail to properly treat it, almost every incidence of saddle sores can constitute animal abuse by neglect.
A completely different question is whether or not the abuse is enough to warrant felony charges. While it may not be, that may not matter. Since Dreadhead is facing a litany of other charges, the prosecution may be able to pressure him into a plea. Alternatively, they can explain to a jury how the horse’s back ended up with sores all over it and why the horse’s feet were bleeding.
The most likely outcome of this case would be a misdemeanor plea bargain, but Dreadhead is facing a number of misdemeanor offenses. The prosecution will likely drop all the other charges if Dreadhead agrees to a felony abuse plea.
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