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Man charged with hate crime over Puerto Rican shirt incident

The man has been charged with committing a hate crime (PA) Photo: PA Wire/PA Images

A man captured on video chastising a woman in Chicago for wearing a shirt with the Puerto Rican flag on it has been charged with committing a hate crime.

Timothy Trybus, 62, of Des Plaines, is charged with two counts of committing a hate crime in addition to misdemeanour counts of assault and disorderly conduct he already faced.

In the video posted on social media and widely viewed, a man later identified by authorities as Trybus can be seen berating the woman on June 14 at Caldwell Woods.

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When the woman complains to a Cook County Forest Preserves officer that the man is harassing her and questioning her citizenship, the officer does not respond. Puerto Rico is a US commonwealth.

The officer was put on desk duty while officials investigated. He resigned this week.

In the wake of the incident, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle offered her apology to the woman and took the unusual step of calling Ricardo Rossello, the governor of Puerto Rico. Mr Rossello wanted the officer fired.

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Meanwhile, the Forest Preserves issued its own apology for what happened.

In the video, Trybus can be seen approaching the woman and pointing at her shirt as he berates her.

“You should not be wearing that in the United States of America,” he tells her. He also questions her about whether she was an American citizen.

The woman, who apparently is the one recording the encounter, can be heard talking but her face is not shown. At one point, she turns the camera on herself to show her shirt. She asks the officer for help, saying the man is making her feel uncomfortable.

More officers arrived and arrested the man.

Trybus is scheduled to appear in court on Friday.