CAVE-IN-ROCK, Ill. — The Juggalos served up a shot of vigilante justice Saturday.
It was a moment that even veteran festival-goers described as shocking: hordes of fans destroying the car of a suspected thief at Insane Clown Posse’s Gathering of the Juggalos.
With cheers and chants of “FA-MI-LY,” the charged-up mob ultimately lifted the stripped Grand Am onto a Uhaul trailer and carted it half a mile to the festival’s main stage, where security demanded they tow it backstage.
Hours earlier, the suspected thief had been chased off the fest site by a posse of more than 50 fans.
“We police our own,” said an Ohio fan who called herself Red.
•MORE PHOTOS: The Free Press blogged on Instagram from The Gathering; go to freep.com/thegatheringphotos to see the pictures!
It all had started Friday night when a Michigan couple – identifying themselves as 23-year-old Angelina and 24-year-old Marty – arrived at their campsite to find their tent ransacked. As they later recounted to the Free Press, a fellow camper fingered the unidentified Ohio man as the culprit.
On Saturday morning the Michigan couple entered the suspect’s Grand Am only to find he’d removed the trunk release button. They said they opened the trunk by hotwiring it, finding their stuff among a batch of goods stolen from other Juggalos, including shoes, shorts, electronics, jewelry and bottles of medicine.
“We started smashing the front window,” said Angelina.
Others soon joined in, and within hours the car was an empty, dented hulk. Juggalos could be spotted parading pieces – bumpers, doors, engine parts – around the Gathering site.
At one point the suspected thief was spotted nearby. Dozens of fans set after him, chasing him to the festival exit, where security staffers stopped the mob.
“We’re family,” said an Arkansas fan who said he helped lead the chase. “You don’t steal from your family.”
The fate of the car, thief and vigilantes was unclear Saturday evening, day four of the 13th annual Gathering, which has drawn more than 8,000 fans of Detroit’s ICP to southern Illinois.
“I was there when they threw things at Tila Tequila (in 2010), and even I’m more shocked at this,” said Red, the Ohio fan. “We’re not usually this feral.
But dude – don’t steal.”
WHO NEEDS THE POLICE – JUGGALO GANG DESTROYS A CAR IN THE NAME OF FAMILY