Timothy Trybus was seen in a viral video berating a woman for wearing a T-shirt of the Puerto Rican flag, and now the 62-year-old man is facing hate crime charges for the alleged assault.
This week, video hit the internet that showed Trybus aggressively pestering a woman at park pavilion outside Chicago, sparking immediate outrage. The video showed the woman pleading with the man to leave her alone, though he repeatedly returned to yell at her for wearing the Puerto Rican flag and appeared to shove the woman. As ABC News noted, the incident took place on June 14, but gained interest when a video went viral this week.
In the video, Trybus could be seen telling the woman that she should not be wearing the T-shirt in the United States, despite her attempting to explain that Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory. Timothy Trybus was originally charged with simple assault for the incident, but this week, the Cook County State Attorney’s Office announced that he would also be facing a felony hate crime charge.
The incident had drawn an immediate backlash, with a number of local politicians and some from Puerto Rico condemning the attack. Congressman Luis Gutierrez commended the state’s attorney for leveling hate crime charges and said he worries that people feel emboldened to attack minorities because they have seen Donald Trump do the same with no repercussions.
“There should be consequences. People have to learn there are consequences, especially in the era of Trump,” Gutierrez said, via the Chicago Tribune. “I really do believe there are people who say to themselves, ‘If Trump can do it, I can do it. Why can’t I go out there and say the things the president says?'”
The incident drew outrage among many for the inaction of a Forest Preserve police officer, who watched the attack and did not step in to stop it. Patrick Conner, the officer in question, resigned this week after being placed on desk duty. Many had called on the police department to fire Conner, who was seen in the background of the video, but failed to step in to help the woman. The incident is the latest in a line of verbal attacks on minorities captured on video in recent weeks.
Timothy Trybus has been released from jail on bond and is scheduled to appear in court on August 1 for a hearing on hate crime charges.