Robin Hooding has been going strong and consistent since around the turn of the new year. In the thousands of collective hours that the Merry people have spent marching the streets of Keene, we’ve seen our share of haters. For every few supporters, there’s usually one detractor, and of the few dozen who will yell out profanities or insults, only a handful have ever gotten physical. There was Bradford Hutchinson, a well known indigent local who often goes under the moniker ‘the King of Keene’ online. He was upset over the Merry people’s nullification of the parking enforcer’s jobs, and expressed himself by waving a can of pepper spray in Garret’s face before trying to grab him around the head. Deflected with minimal resistance, he eventually wandered off on his own.
Then there was Nicholas McCallister, who seemed less concerned about Robin Hooding and more concerned with civilians in possession of cameras. He began threatening me while I was with James and Graham, while none of us were filming, thus resulting in him getting his wish and becoming a video star. For all of his huffing and puffing, he seemed content with punching James in the arm and, like Bradford, wandering off.
On a separate occasion, and unidentified thug wielding a banjo approached me and did a chest bump of sorts before continuing to walk at and threaten me while I filmed him. Fortunately, he also had a short attention span and departed after spewing profane insults. His beef seemed to be with ‘Free Staters’, which he must have mistaken me for. Additionally, when Derrick J was visiting Keene recently, he was attacked by a disgruntled former vice-chair of the Cheshire democrats, Daniel J. White, who presumably mistook him for a local Robin Hooder.
In the past, I did not find these incidents worthy of report beyond a footnote being added to the raw videos. Of these encounters, none have spanned such a length of time, involved such a number of aggressors, been so vicious, and ended with further threats of violence the way that our encounter with Travis Hobbs had on Friday afternoon.
Hobbs came on the radar of Robin Hooders when he approached and threatened a volunteer over a week ago while accompanied by his less than impressive associates. I recognized the man when I saw him speaking with parking enforcer Linda Desruisseaux in the median. When I approached the two, Hobbs immediately began making threats, and over the course of the next ten minutes, would speak almost exclusively in threats of violence between sentence fragments. He called his bros over for support, and they did their part to egg on their neanderthalic mascot up until that point that he attacked. The comedy of the tragic mob came when Hobbs began the assaults, at which point the bros began bellowing how it was time to leave because the cops were coming. I appreciated their attempts at deescalation; if only they had been consistent.
Noteworthy in this situation was the brazen unprofessionalism of parking enforcer Linda. While I was being threatened by a large ruffian, Linda continued to either ignore or antagonize me in direct violation of a number of her employment protocols. Linda also left the scene some time either shortly before or during the acts of violence committed by Hobbs. To the credit of parking enforcer Jane McDermott, she stuck around and called the police upon seeing violence rather than turning a blind eye to it.
Hobbs seems to be an especially dangerous individual because of his size and his entitlement mentality. During a difficult to decipher attempt at conversation, Hobbs uttered, “I’m a Keene citizen…I was born here.” As if apish behavior is not bad enough, it must be reinforced with nativism and might-makes-right. Unfortunately for Hobbs, he’ll be forced to learn the hard way about the social pressures applied to criminals caught on camera. One can hope that since his foul behavior was documented, that perhaps it will give Hobbs insight into himself from another perspective, if he is in fact capable of such self-contemplation.
See the unabridged raw footage of the encounter at Fr33manTVraw.