Posted on July 19, 2018

Hate Crime Charges Filed Against Man Caught on Video Confronting Woman over Puerto Rico Shirt

Matthew Walberg and Gregory Pratt, Chicago Tribune, July 13, 2018

The Chicago man shown in a viral video berating a woman for wearing a Puerto Rican flag T-shirt has been charged with a felony hate crime.


[Timothy] Trybus, 62, was arrested Thursday by Cook County Forest Preserve District Police and is scheduled to appear for a bond hearing at 1:30 p.m. Friday at the Skokie courthouse.

The incident in question occurred June 14 in Caldwell Woods Forest Preserve on the Far Northwest Side. But it became widely known this week when a video of the encounter was posted on social media, prompting condemnation from many local activists and politicians and from the governor of Puerto Rico.

In the video, a man later identified as Trybus confronts and screams at a woman about her shirt, telling her she should not be wearing it in the United States.

Besides the man’s actions and comments, it was the apparent inaction of a forest preserve police officer, seen in the background, that elicited heavy criticism. The footage showed the officer seemingly ignoring the woman’s requests for his help as she explains that the man is harassing her and that she has a permit to be in the public space.

The fallout since the video’s dissemination has been swift: The officer, Patrick Connor, who had been placed on desk duty on June 25 during an internal investigation, resigned on Wednesday amid calls for the forest preserve district to terminate his employment.


Watching the video, [Cook County Commissioner Jesus] Garcia said, “it’s reasonable to conclude that the way this individual confronted the woman constituted a hate crime. It was threatening and menacing and obviously full of racial ethnic hatred.”


[Cook County Board President Toni] Preckwinkle earlier this week apologized to the woman in the video, Mia Irizarry, while speaking at an unrelated event, calling the incident “completely unacceptable.”