Animal-Rights Activist Says Elderly Circus Employees Assaulted Him During Protest (Video) | The Daily Pulp | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


Animal-Rights Activist Says Elderly Circus Employees Assaulted Him During Protest (Video)

Last week, we told you about the animal-rights activists protesting the Cole Bros. Circus. They've followed the circus around South Florida, explaining with signs and megaphones that circus employees and patrons alike "support animal cruelty."

Last weekend, though, the protest in Margate turned into an assault. And one protester captured the entire ordeal on a camera hidden inside his watch.

Josh Durden, an animal-rights activist from Coconut Creek, was standing just outside the circus property, yelling at employees through a megaphone. In the video (below), you can see an elderly man on a scooter try to knock the megaphone out of Durden's hand. Then two more circus employees -- also older men -- push him back and tell him they're going to "kick your motherfucking ass."

"Two of the employees were angry about my assertion that the circus hires people with criminal backgrounds to work for them," Durden says. In the video, you can hear Durden telling the men he's going to file assault charges.

"The police took a ridiculous amount of time to respond after my 911 call despite the police station being directly across the street," he says. "Immediately upon hearing my side of the story, the responding officer stated that he wasn't going to do anything about the assault and then began to curse at me for 'pissing on his day' by daring to get assaulted."

The 14-minute video, taken with Durden's hidden camera, shows the initial antagonizing by Durden: "The man on the red scooter is a criminal," he says into the megaphone. "Watch your children around the man on the red scooter."

Then the encounter with circus employees, the shoving, the swearing, the 911 call, the not-so-urgent police response, and the prolonged argument among all of the men as they stand around the squad car.

In the end, though, Durden says he isn't likely to press charges, but only because he could then face charges himself. "After speaking to a detective about the case," he says, "I was told that if I was to pursue misdemeanor battery charges against my attackers, I would be charged with felony elderly abuse because they claim I attacked them first."

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael J. Mooney

Latest Stories