Man allegedly harasses woman wearing Puerto Rico flag shirt, charged with hate crimes

Update 6:45 a.m. EDT June 13: The man who was captured on video allegedly harassing a woman who was wearing a shirt that portrayed the Puerto Rican flag has now been charged with a hate crime.

Timothy Trybus now faces two Class 3 felony hate crime charges according to Tandra Simonton, Cook County State's Attorney's Office spokeswoman, CNN reported.

He faces up to five years in prison for each charge. He is expected to appear in court Friday afternoon for a bail hearing.

He also has been charged with assault and disorderly conduct after his confrontation of the woman.

A public defender is expected to be assigned Tybrus' case, CNN reported.

Update 3:25 p.m. EDT June 12: The officer who was seen on video not responding to a woman being harassed over her shirt that depicted the Puerto Rico flag has resigned, CNN reported.

The officer was identified as Patrick Connor and has been on the police force for a decade, the Sun Times reported. He had been assigned desk duty while the department investigated the incident.

Connor resigned Wednesday.

Cook County Forest Preserve District Police Chief Kelvin Pope said of Connor, "He was very remorseful and he just considered it being a really unfortunate incident where he really wasn't given a fair shake," Pope told the Sun Times and other media outlets during a news conference.

Pope said the now-former officer believes he took the correct action, but the department disagrees with Connor, admitting he should have stepped in sooner, the Sun Times reported.

The investigation into what happened continues, CNN reported.

As for Connor, "His personnel file will reflect that this officer did not resign in good standing, with a note indicating that he left the district with discipline pending," the park agency's general superintendent, Arnold Randall, told CNN.

Original story: A woman says she was harassed by a man over the shirt she wore to an Illinois park and the confrontation was caught on video.

Mia Irizarry said she was at Forest Preserves of Cook County for a birthday party last month when the man walked up to her, telling her she shouldn't wear a shirt that showed the Puerto Rican flag, CBS News reported.

She had asked the man, and the group he was in, to move from the pavilion that her family had rented for a party, CNN reported.

>> Read more trending news

The video, which runs 36 minutes and is filled with profanity, had been posted to social media where it has more than 1.4 million views on Facebook.

The man, who was later identified as Timothy Trybus, according tot he Chicago Sun Times, can be heard on the video asking  Irizarry if she was a U.S. citizen and saying that she should not wear the Puerto Rican flag shirt in America.

Irizarry and her family members explained to Trybus that Puerto Rico is an American territory, but Trybus continued to argue with her

Irizarry asked a nearby officer for help, telling him that she was not comfortable with Trybus' confrontation. But the officer did not respond when Irizzary asked for help. The officer was identified as Patrick Connor, who has been on the police force for a decade, the Sun Times reported. He is currently on desk duty while his response to the incident is investigated.

Eventually another officer steps in and asks Trybus for his identification and tells him he is drunk. He responds to the officer, telling her, "Well, that's your judgement." The office warns him that he cannot harass people and that he doesn't belong at the park while drunk, CNN reported.

Eventually, the first officer, Connor, documented what happened, but said that Irizzary was not being attacked. He did acknowledge that she felt threatened, CNN reported.

Trybus was arrested and charged with assault and disorderly conduct, CBS News reported.

Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rossello, has spoken out about the video, posting on Twitter, “I am appalled, shocked & disturbed by the officer’s behavior.”


About the Author