John Hugh Gilmore, Minnesota Conservatives blogger, arrested for harassing Muslim women [VIDEO]
After two women in traditional Muslim headscarves were harassed by a man taking their picture and demanding to know why they were in his country, a legion of helpful bystanders stepped in to help, ultimately calling the cops.
What no one realized at the time is that the man was John Hugh Gilmore, the author of the right-wing blog Minnesota Conservatives. And we just got our hands on his mugshot.
Gilmore is an attorney in St. Paul and created Minnesota Conservatives in 2008, where he's promoted Marty Seifert, Tom Emmer and, most recently, applauded Sen. David Hann for calling Archbishop John Nienstedt a socialist sympathizer.
Here's what happened. Elisabeth Geschiere, a pedi-cab driver, was working on Nicollet Mall when she recognized a friend, Jamila Boudlali, standing outside of the Dakota Jazz club. She came over and started talking with Boudlali, and her friend Anwar Hijaz, who were downtown for an afterparty for Netroots Nation, the progressive political blogging conference. Both Hijaz and Boudlali were wearing Muslim headscarves.
That apparently attracted the attention of a gray-haired man -- 52-year-old Gilmore -- who suddenly approached the trio and said the name, "Ayan Hersi Ali." Ali is a vocal, female critic of Islam. The three women tried to brush him off, saying they did not want to debate with him.
John Hugh Gilmore
And that, according to cops and witnesses, is when Gilmore became belligerent, taking photos of the women, and demanding to know why they were in the U.S. Geschiere says when she asked him to stop taking their photo, things only escalated.
"He started saying things like, 'This is America, welcome to America, this is the western world,'" says Geschiere. "So I immediately retorted like, 'Dude, we all grew up in America.'"
As bystanders started to intervene, the shouting ramped up, and Gilmore started pacing around the crowd and yelling "Andrew Breitbart -- hello!" into his phone. That was the first time, says witness and visiting Netroots Nation-attendee Matt Glazer, that he realized the man was a conservative.
"He made it sound like he was about to hurt people, so then that's when I called the police," says Glazer.
Police arrested him after he threatened a bystander and wandered away into The News Room bar. When confronted by cops, Sgt. William Palmer says Gilmore was uncooperative and "didn't want to leave." He characterized Gilmore as "drunk."
The whole drama landed Gilmore in Hennepin County Jail with one count of disorderly conduct and another count for being uncooperative during his arrest.
You can also catch the tail end of the bizarre confrontation in this YouTube clip, in which Gilmore apparently pretends to call Andrew Breitbart for help:
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