Baton twirling, whistle-blowing gay street performer Baton Bob was angrily confronted during his one-man gay parade on Wednesday, going face-to-face with a man who threatened to kill him.
The confrontation took place about 3:30 p.m. as Baton Bob marched near the intersection of Cheshire Bridge and LaVista roads. The popular 60-year-old Midtown personality — Bob Jamerson when not in his majorette drag — noticed two men hanging out at a gas station at the intersection. He continued his performance, only to be face-to-face with one of the men when he turned toward the station again.
“He crossed the street and was in my damn face, less than six inches away,” Baton Bob says. “He was calling me faggot, telling me to get my ass out of the street and that I needed to be killed.”
He says he’s encountered the man a few times in the past and didn’t think much of it. But not this time.
“I went into this pose and blew my whistle. I had to blow my whistle 20 times before he backed off. Who in their right fucking mind in the middle of the day would pull a stunt like that,” Baton Bob says.
“This is the fourth fucking time I have run into this crazy mother fucker,” he adds.
Baton Bob’s attacker didn’t physically assault him, but he’s concerned that it could escalate if the man isn’t arrested. It’s only the second time in 11 years of his street performances that he’s faced such a verbal bashing.
During the confrontation on Wednesday, he asked someone who came from nearby Showcase Photo & Video to call the police. He’s not sure if that took place, as he returned to his nearby home to change and return to the intersection. But he says he’s ready to file a report with Atlanta police.
“He was six damn inches from my face, too close for comfort. I’m always cognizant that everyone doesn’t embrace what I do. But I don’t expect them to get in my face,” Baton Bob says.
Thanks to the past encounters with the attacker on Wednesday, he knows the man’s identity. He also says the person who came out from Showcase took a photo of the altercation and two other men were video taping him as he marched along Cheshire Bridge Road. He hopes that they recorded the incident and will come forward.
“It seemed like it lasted forever. But it had to be at least a good five or 10 minutes. I am definitely pressing charges,” Baton Bob says.
But he says the attack won’t stop him from performing — he returned to the same intersection on Thursday. He’s also rehearsing for a one-man show on Aug. 10. “The Myrtle Hat Tour” is set for the Garden Tent at Park Tavern in Midtown.
“I want to leave people with a sense of hope that this is not going to deter me or stop me from doing what I do. It has to be addressed and something has to be done about it. Simple as that,” Baton Bob says.