A hostile and apparently ill-informed Chicago man who ranted at a woman for wearing a Puerto Rico shirt in the US is now facing felony hate crime charges. Robert Foley, spokesman for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, says the office approved the charges, which were enhancements of the misdemeanor assault and misdemeanor disorderly conduct charges Timothy Trybus was already facing, after a review of the incident, the Chicago Tribune reports. Video of the incident shows a man identified as Trybus, 62, harassing Mia Irizarry inside Caldwell Woods park last month and berating her for wearing the flag of Puerto Rico, a US commonwealth, instead of an American flag.
The charges against Trybus are Class 3 felonies, punishable by probation or up to five years in prison on each charge if convicted, CBS News reports. Police say Trybus was intoxicated when they arrested him. His record includes charges of domestic battery going back at least 20 years, the Tribune reports. Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia says he agrees with the hate crime charges and thinks they should have been filed sooner. From the video, "it's reasonable to conclude that the way this individual confronted the woman constituted a hate crime," he says. "It was threatening and menacing and obviously full of racial ethnic hatred." (An officer criticized for apparently ignoring Irizarry's requests for help has resigned.)