Man on hate crime charges after harassing woman for wearing Puerto Rico shirt
A US man who was filmed harassing a woman because she was wearing a shirt with the Puerto Rican flag on it has been charged with committing a hate crime.
Timothy Trybus, 62, of Des Plaines was charged with two felony counts of committing a hate crime in addition to the misdemeanour counts of assault and disorderly conduct he already faced, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office said.
In a video posted on social media, Trybus can be seen berating the woman at the Caldwell Woods forest preserve in Chicago.
“You should not be wearing that in the United States of America,” he tells her. He also questions her about whether she is an American citizen.
When the woman complains to a Cook County Forest Preserves officer that the man is harassing her and questioning her citizenship, the officer doesn’t respond.
The officer was put on desk duty while officials investigated the incident, but he resigned this week.
In the wake of the incident, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle offered the woman an apology and took the unusual step of calling Ricardo Rossello, the governor of Puerto Rico. Mr Rossello wanted the officer fired.
Puerto Rico is not part of the US but has status as an unincorporated territory, meaning it comes under the control of the US Federal Government.
The Forest Preserves issued its own apology for what happened.
It was not immediately clear if Trybus had an attorney to comment on his behalf.
He is scheduled to appear in court on Friday.