Man Who Harassed Woman for Wearing Puerto Rican Flag Shirt Charged With Hate Crime

Lead Photo: Photo by artolympic / iStock / Getty Images Plus
Photo by artolympic / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Mia Irizarry was only trying to celebrate her 24th birthday at an Illinois park. But soon an intoxicated man harassed and berated her about the Puerto Rican flag shirt she was wearing. After the video went viral, authorities began investigating the cop who stood nearby and failed to act as the incident occurred (he has since resigned), and now, the man at the center of the controversy has also received his comeuppance. 62-year-old Timothy Trybus is now facing two counts of felony hate crime. He was previously charged with misdemeanor assault and misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

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The support and outrage from both politicians and the general public have helped Mia get the justice she deserves. In the video, she asks police officer Patrick Connor to intervene and requests that Timothy stop crowding her. She even stated that she felt highly uncomfortable as the man questions her citizenship and loyalty to the US, and tells her she “should not be wearing that in the United States of America.”

Cook County Commissioner Jesús “Chuy” García called for a hate crime charge beforehand, according to the Chicago Tribune. “This should have happened sooner, but sometimes it takes an incident like this to go viral and for the public to chime in to really make us appreciate the consequences of our actions,” he said. “[Watching the video], 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.”