A man who harassed a woman in a Chicago suburb because she was wearing a T-shirt with the Puerto Rican flag on it has been sentenced to probation for a hate crime.
Timothy Trybus was found guilty last month of two felony hate crime counts for intimidating and questioning Mia Irizarry about her citizenship during her 24th birthday party at the Forest Preserves of Cook County in Illinois on June 14, 2018. On Monday, the 63-year-old was placed on probation for two years and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.
Trybus, who was inebriated during the encounter, which Irizarry recorded and shared on social media at the time, told the judge that he feels “extremely embarrassed” by his actions.
His defense attorney David Goldman added that the man’s behavior “wasn’t hateful as much as it was stupid.”
Many disagree. While Trybus was originally going to be charged with a misdemeanor assault and misdemeanor disorderly conduct, community leaders pushed for the man to be charged with a hate crime.
“No one should be harassed or threatened based on race or ethnicity. The victim was simply trying to set up a picnic in a public park,” Jesus “Chuy” Garcia – a U.S. congressman who helped get the charges changed, said last year. “… Let’s remember that diversity is our strength, and we must stand against any attempts to divide our communities.”
The video, which went viral, also showed an officer on the scene who wasn’t very helpful in ensuring Irizarry’s safety. While the woman repeatedly asks Officer Patrick Connor to do something as she was being berated, the cop is never heard or seen taking action. Irizarry later said it took two hours for Trybus to be arrested.
After facing backlash for his idleness, Officer Connor resigned a month following the incident.