In the past week, a video of a Chicago man verbally attacking a young woman for wearing a shirt with a Puerto Rico flag went viral on social media — an now he faces felony hate crime charges.
Timothy Trybus, 62, was charged Thursday with two counts of felony hate crime, enhancing original charges of misdemeanor assault and misdemeanor disorderly conduct, The Chicago Tribune reported. He was arrested on Thursday and is expected to appear for a bond hearing on Friday afternoon.
Trybus was caught on video, as seen in the screenshot above, berating a woman for wearing a T-shirt with the Puerto Rican flag. The incident reportedly took place on June 14 in Caldwell Woods Forest Preserve, but the video went viral this week.
“Why is she wearing that sh-t?” he shouts in the video.
“You should not be wearing that in the United States of America,” he says to the woman, who has since been identified as 24-year-old Mia Irizarry by NBC. Irizarry posted the live stream on her own Facebook on June 14.
“Are you educated?” he asks Irizarry, before asking her if she is a citizen.
Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, and Puerto Ricans have American citizenship as per a 1917 law signed by President Woodrow Wilson.
Irizarry, from behind the camera, pleads with a nearby officer nearby to help her: “Officer, I feel highly uncomfortable, can you please grab him? Please, officer.”
The officer in the video appears to walk away.
“As you can see the police ... he is not even grabbing him. This guy is just walking up to me, he basically got in my face, damn near almost touched me,” Irizarry narrates when the man is at a distance.
“Officer, I paid for a permit for this area. I do not feel comfortable with him here. Is there anything you can do?”
The officer doesn’t appear to respond. From Irizarry’s account, it appears that the officer tried to stop her companion from videotaping the man but did not do enough to stop the man verbally abusing her.
“Okay but how come you’re saying something when he’s going up but when he was coming up to me you didn't do anything?” she asks the officer.
The officer's inaction caused a stir on social media, even beyond the reaction to Trybus’ vitriol. Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello on Tuesday demanded on Twitter that the officer "be expelled."
The park officials launched an investigation in the aftermath of the incident.
Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez, of the fourth district of Illinois, said on Twitter that “there's a culture of bigotry & hate that's been condoned in US, which now feels unleashed to express itself in the most ugly & aggressive ways.”
Gutierrez, who had earlier tweeted that he couldn’t decide what “upsets him more” in the video — the “racist drunk,” the officer who does “absolutely nothing,” or the fact that it happened in Cook County — sums up his take on the situation. “In this case, a US citizen questions the citizenship of another US citizen and American law-enforcement just sits back and watches.”
The Forest Preserve of Cook County, where the incident took place, tweeted a statement on Tuesday amidst the social media furor.
“After the incident, we immediately launched an investigation pursuant to our personnel policies into the response of our officer,” it read. Caldwell Woods falls under their jurisdiction, according to their website.
The officer in question was assigned to desk duty during the early stages of the investigation, according to NBC.
He resigned late Wednesday, according to another tweet from the organization.
General Superintendent Arnold Randall said in a statement, shared on the organization’s Facebook page, “I am outraged that this would happen anywhere, but especially sad it happened in our Forest Preserves.”
Irizarry has been refunded the fee for her permit, she said in a comment on her Facebook video.
[Photo: Screenshot from Facebook]