Racism

Man who threatened woman for wearing a Puerto Rico T-shirt is charged with felony hate crimes

A man whose drunken harassment of a woman wearing a Puerto Rico shirt was captured on video has been charged with a hate crime, according to a spokesperson for Chicago’s Cook County prosecutor’s office.

Timothy Trybus, 62, has been charged with two felony counts of a hate crime, NBC News reports.

Trybus is seen in a video confronting Mia Irizarry, 24, at the Caldwell Woods forest preserve in Chicago on June 14. After seeing the Puerto Rican flag shirt she was wearing, Trybus asked if she is a U.S. citizen and said “you’re not going to change us, you know that?” and “the world is not going to change the United States of America.”

Trybus’s charges carry a possible sentence of 2 to 5 years. Prosecutors also have the option of seeking probation rather than jail time.

According to Cook County spokesperson Tandra Simonton, Trybus was also charged with misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct — charges that could be dropped because the hate crime charges are more serious.

The video, which was shared widely across social media, sparked widespread outrage and even resulted in Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rossell√≥, publicly calling it “appalling,” adding that “a Puerto Rican woman was brutally harassed by a bigot while an officer did not interfere.”

Patrick Connor, a Forest Preserves of Cook County police officer who was on the scene when the incident took place, resigned after being heavily criticized for failing to intervene and stop Trybus’s harassment.

In the video, Irizarry pleads for Connor’s help as she’s being harassed, only to be ignored.

“We don’t know what was happening outside the video; we don’t know what was going on inside his [Conner’s] head at the time,” Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council attorney Tamara Cummings said according to CNN. “He was looking forward to an opportunity to explain what was happening. However, given the media attention and pressure, he decided to resign.”

“Given his decision to resign, he won’t be offering any additional comment on what might have happened during this situation,” she continued. “He’s very distraught and not happy about having to leave employment much sooner than he intended, but because of the strong reaction from the public and political figures, he thought it would be unrealistic to stay as an officer.”

Featured image via screen grab/Forest Preserves of Cook County

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