From a distance, the elderly gentleman with two hearing aids and a rainbow-covered wagon looked like another festive participant in Omaha's Gay Pride parade. That's what Kendra Konrady thought, at least.
|KC volunteers at the Omaha Gay Pride Parade|
A few seconds later, she was in a headlock.
Konrady admits she has little tolerance for religious zealots with a penchant for overstepping their territory. "All of a sudden I hear, 'The Lord hadeth this, that and the other business,' " she says. "But I'm thinking, Kill them with kindness."
|The rainbow-shrouded religion wagon|
The crowd quickly responded and the man backed off. Konrady marched up to the next police officer she could find and told him what happened. Two other witnesses confirmed that the man pushed Konrady away from the wagon and put her in a headlock.
The man was William Crilly, a 66-year-old Omaha resident. According to the police report, "The suspect, who stated he was just trying to get them away, was arrested for assault."
|Crilly, wearing a black ball cap, points at Konrady, behind the woman in the white shirt|
News of the scuffle spread through the crowd, drawing people to the HRC booth, Main says. As a result, the group signed up 159 new members. They're still considering their legal options in Konrady's assault.
I tried to get Crilly's reaction, but when I dialed his home number, a woman answered. She said that William wasn't available. When I told her why I was calling her tone hardened. "He's going to speak to his lawyer tomorrow and he won't be speaking with anybody until after that," she said.
I left my number. He hasn't called me back yet.