Man in viral Puerto Rican T-Shirt video charged with hate crime
CHICAGO, Illinois (WGN) -- The man seen in a now-viral video harassing a woman for wearing a Puerto Rican shirt is now charged with a hate crime.
The video posted to social media shows 62-year-old Timothy Trybus confronting Mia Irizarry on June 14 as she was setting up a birthday party in a reserved gazebo in Caldwell Woods on the Northwest Side.
"You should not be wearing that shirt in the United States of America. ... Are you a citizen? Are you a United States citizen?" Trybus asks in the video.
The video also shows Irizarry ask a nearby officer, Connor, for help, but he does not appear to intervene. More officers eventually arrived and arrested the man.
“After a review of the case, we approved felony hate crimes charges,” said Robert Foley, spokesman for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office told the Chicago Tribune.
Trybus is charged with two counts of felony hate crime, which are enhancements on the charges of misdemeanor assault and misdemeanor disorderly conduct he was previously charged with.
Earlier Thursday, Cook County Forest Preserve officials they had planned to interview the officer involved in a now-viral Puerto Rico t-shirt video — but that he resigned before they could do so.
Officer Patrick Connor resigned late Wednesday amid the investigation into his response,
Records show Connor had been with the force since 2006.
At a news conference, officials said they will use the incident as a teachable moment for new recruits and plan to increase diversity training.
"It was truly appalling, gut wrenching and a real wake up call," Cook County Commissioner Luis Arroyo Jr. said. "The officer embarrassed many of our law enforcement officers and tarnished the whole department with his failure to act."
Connor was initially placed on desk duty as the investigation got underway.
Irizarry spoke to the Puerto Rican Cultural Center earlier this week.
She said the incident went on much longer than the video showed, even after Trybus was in custody and placed in a squad car.
"I felt so drawn out," she said in the interview. "It felt like I was being punished."
Irizarry said she received an apology from the forest preserve shortly after she posted the video. She said she was thankful officials recognized the behavior of the officer was wrong.