Sat, Jul 14, 2018 - Page 7 News List

Illinois man charged over Puerto Rican flag shirt diatribe

AP, CHICAGO

A man who can be seen in a video chastising a woman at a Chicago forest preserve for wearing a shirt with the Puerto Rican flag on it has been charged with committing a hate crime, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office announced on Thursday.

Timothy Trybus, 62, of Des Plaines has been charged with two felony counts of committing a hate crime in addition to the misdemeanor counts of assault and disorderly conduct he already faced.

In a video posted on social media and widely viewed, a man later identified by authorities as Trybus can be seen berating the woman on June 14 at Caldwell Woods.

When the woman complains to a Cook County Forest Preserves officer that the man is harassing her and questioning her citizenship, the officer does not respond.

The officer was put on desk duty while officials investigated. He resigned this week.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle offered her apology to the woman and took the unusual step of calling Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello, who wanted the officer fired.

The forest preserves issued its own apology.

It was not immediately clear if Trybus has an attorney to comment on his behalf.

In the video, Trybus can be seen approaching the woman and pointing at her shirt as he berates her.

“You should not be wearing that in the United States of America,” he tells her.

He also questions her about whether she is an US citizen.

The woman, who apparently is the one recording the encounter, can be heard talking, but her face is not shown. At one point, she turns the camera on herself to show her shirt. She asks the officer for help, saying the man is making her feel uncomfortable.

More officers arrived and arrested the man.

Trybus was scheduled to appear in court yesterday.

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