5 people, including ‘Dreadhead Cowboy,’ arrested after causing disturbance and disrupting traffic on Dan Ryan Expressway, police say

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The so-called Dreadhead Cowboy and four other people have been charged after streaming onto the Dan Ryan Expressway and disrupting traffic as rush hour began Thursday, Illinois State Police said.

No horses were involved in the Thursday afternoon incident, which began when “numerous” motorists called 911 to report pedestrians walking on the highway around 3:30 p.m. in the local, outbound lanes near Garfield Boulevard, state police said in a statement.

After troopers got there and saw the people “blocking” all southbound lanes and “impeding the flow of traffic,” they detained “without incident” a back seat passenger of a vehicle, later identified as Adam Hollingsworth, 34, better known as the Dreadhead Cowboy.

Hollingsworth was charged with reckless conduct and was released on a personal recognizance bond with a future court date, state police said.

Also arrested during the incident were several Chicagoans including the driver of the vehicle, Tyrone F. Muhammed, 50; back seat passenger Gregory Sherman, 42; Victoria Herring, 41; and Ralph Edwards, 45.

Sherman was charged with felony aggravated battery to a peace officer and was being held at Cook County Jail. In an emailed statement, state police spokesperson Trooper Omoayena V. Williams declined to say what Sherman is accused of doing to the officer, “in order to protect the integrity of the investigation.”

Muhammed was charged with battery, resisting/obstructing a peace officer, disorderly conduct and disobeying a peace officer.

Edwards and Herring were charged with reckless conduct, criminal trespass to state land causing intentional delay to transit, disobeying a peace officer, and obstruction of traffic by a person, pedestrian on a controlled access highway, state police said.

Additionally, Edwards was charged with driving with a suspended license.

As the Dreadhead Cowboy, Hollingsworth became a familiar sight at neighborhood events and protests last summer, and his unusual story drew national attention. But the feel-good story came to an abrupt end in September 2020, when he was charged with felony animal cruelty after being accused of mistreating one of his horses during a 7.5-mile gallop down the Dan Ryan Expressway, a journey that allegedly ended with the animal severely injured and near death.

Hollingsworth was mostly recently in the news in March when a Cook County judge castigated him over Facebook posts showing him swearing at the prosecutor on his case and claiming — apparently falsely — that he had been traveling and riding horses in spite of the terms of his bond.

rsobol@chicagotribune.com