All Mia Irizarry wanted to do was celebrate her 24th birthday. What she got instead was a horrific moment that she will most likely never forget. On June 14, Irizarry rented out a pavilion at a public park in Chicago to host a party for her birthday. While she was setting up, an older man, identified as Timothy Trybus, approached her angrily because of her Puerto Rico flag shirt.
Timothy Trybus confronted Mia Irizarry about wearing her Puerto Rico flag shirt while being in America.
🗣️Puerto Rico is part of the United States. https://t.co/9vxIVni4lz
— ACLU (@ACLU) July 10, 2018
Irizarry recorded the entire confrontation, which was 30-minutes long, and posted it on Facebook. The incident happened last month but police have finally arrested Trybus over the incident and has been charged with two felony hate crimes. These filed hate crime charges will enhace the misdemeanor assault and misdemeanor disorderly conduct he was originally charged with.
The man, who was reportedly intoxicated, asked if Irizarry was an American citizen.
Posted by Mia Irizarry on Thursday, June 14, 2018
“Are you a citizen? Then you should not be wearing that,” the man said. “I would like to know is she an American citizen? Why is she wearing that s—?”
“First of all, the United States owns Puerto Rico,” Irizarry responded.
“You’re not going to change us,” the man said. “The world is not going to change the United States of America. You should not be wearing that in the United States of America.”
While there was a male police officer on the scene, he did not help Irizarry despite her pleas for assistance and has resigned.
“I do not feel comfortable with him here; is there anything you can do?” Irizarry asks the police officer.
The officer has been identified as Patrick Connor, a 12-year veteran of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. He has resigned from the department after severe backlash from his actions in the video.
A female police officer was the only one that told the man he had to stop harassing Irizarry.
While more officers were on the scene later, it wasn’t until a female officer arrived that she was able to control the man.
Mitú has reached out to Irizarry and will update this story when she responds.