Police arrested a 71-year-old man for an “aggressive and homophobic attack” on a group of people painting a rainbow pedestrian crossing.
Video circulated online of what appears to be a Yosemite Sam lookalike angrily interrupting a Pridewalk painting event in Saskatoon, Canada.
“You don’t own this f***ing property!” screams the man, who sports a fetching cowboy hat and handlebar moustache.
He then attempts to dismantle one of the road barricades while shouting: “You know what? You guys are getting absolutely stupid!”
Individuals at the scene can be heard repeatedly asked him to leave before one bystander called the police.
Saskatoon Police confirmed the man was arrested for “aggressively shouting at a group of individuals” and “attempting to remove road barricades”.
A clip of the “homophobic cowboy” quickly went viral on Reddit, gaining over 20,000 upvotes in just nine hours.
“Who let Yosemite Sam out of the nursing home?” asked one viewer. “That’s not very yee-haw of you, cowpoke,” joked another.
Saskatoon mayor Charlie Clark took a more serious view, saying he was angered to see the “aggressive and homophobic attack on the folks peacefully painting” the rainbow crossing.
“As we gear up to celebrate Pride in Saskatoon, this is a reminder of the homophobia and transphobia that many in our community and province face far too often,” he said.
“And it is all the more reason why Pride is so important in bringing us together to work towards a city of equity, empathy and shared purpose.”
Saskatoon Pride and OUTSaskatoon said the incident, along with another recent aggravated assault on a queer man in Toronto, highlights the harassment and violence LGBT+ communities continue to face.
The man’s actions “were fuelled by homophobic and racist comments which attempted to incite violence; the matter is now being handled legally,” they said in a joint statement on Twitter.
A Saskatoon police report identifies the man as a 71-year-old Quill Lake resident. He was arrested, charged with causing a disturbance, and will appear in court on 24 November.