July 13, 2018 / 4:06 PM / 4 months ago

Chicago man in Puerto Rico shirt incident due back in court

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A Chicago man charged with a felony hate crime after a video went viral showing him scolding a woman for wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with a Puerto Rican flag will return to court on Aug. 1 after his release on bond, authorities said on Friday.

Timothy Trybus appears in a police booking photograph released by the Forest Preserves of Cook County in River Forest, Illinois, U.S. July 13, 2018. Forest Preserves of Cook County/Handout via REUTERS

Timothy Trybus, 62, was arrested and charged with two counts of felony hate crime, upgrades on previous misdemeanor counts stemming from the June 14 incident, said Robert Foley, a spokesman for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

After a court hearing on Friday, an Illinois state judge released Trybus on his own recognizance on a $10,000 bond, the state’s attorney’s office said. The suspect, who is subject to electronic monitoring, is due in court again on Aug. 1. His lawyer declined to comment on Friday’s hearing.

The incident made national headlines this week after a video on social media showed Trybus approaching a woman, identified as Mia Irizarry, as she stood near a picnic grove in Caldwell Woods, a recreational area in the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, a green belt that surrounds Chicago.

“You should not be wearing that in the United States of America,” Trybus can be heard shouting at Irizarry as she asked him to get away from her.

“Are you a United States citizen? Then you should not be wearing that,” he continued.

Patrick Conner, a police officer at the forest preserve, was seen standing in the background of the video as Irizarry called to him for help while Trybus was berating her. Another officer eventually stepped in and stopped the incident.

Conner’s inaction sparked intense criticism, prompting him to resign on Thursday, Arnold Randall, a Forest Preserve District of Cook County official said on Thursday. Efforts to reach Conner for comment were not immediately successful.

Irizarry, who appeared composed in the video, told reporters on Friday that she was scared.

“I can honestly say that I feared for my safety,” said Irizarry, who was at the site celebrating her 24th birthday. “I have never personally had an encounter with racism to this degree.”

Conner, who underwent the park’s diversity training last year, was initially placed on desk duty after Irizarry complained about him, officials said.

Reporting by Suzannah Gonzales in Chicago and Gina Cherelus in New York; Editing by Frank McGurty, Susan Thomas and Matthew Lewis

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