The woman who was harassed for wearing a Puerto Rico T-shirt at a Chicago forest preserve last month says she’s outraged that the police officer who ignored her pleas for help could resign without punishment.
Mia Irizarry, who captured the June 14 incident at the at Chicago’s Caldwell Woods forest preserve in a 36-minute Facebook Live video, read a statement Friday condemning the inaction of officer Patrick Connor as she was berated.
Connor resigned Wednesday as he was under investigation for his alleged inaction during the encounter. “I am severely disappointed I will never get to hear from this man, this officer, as to why my safety, no why my life, had so little value for him,” Irizarry, 24, said Friday.
“I want the ex-officer to be really be held accountable, whatever that looks like,” the veterinary technician later added. “Of all the people who have apologized to me, he hasn’t apologized to me.”
In the video that has since gone viral, an allegedly intoxicated man identified by police as Timothy Trybus, 62, repeatedly harasses and physically intimidates Irizarry over her t-shirt, and asks whether she is a U.S. citizen.
Irizarry said Friday that she felt Trybus was emboldened by the lack of police action, and credits the presence of her cousin Nathan Arroyo for keeping her harasser from turning physical.
Trybus appeared in court on Friday and a judge set bond at $10,000 with a condition of electronic monitoring. His attorney, David Goldman, said that Trybus has a problem with alcohol, and had been taking Tylenol with codeine after having six teeth pulled a day before the incident and then drank alcohol.
A friend said Tybrus is a Trump supporter who agrees with the president’s immigration policies, but is not a racist. John Bimmerle said Trybus has expressed regret over his actions, and has said he would apologize to Irizarry.
Local Puerto Rican advocates demanded that Cook County Forest Preserve District officials continue to investigate Connor and consider docking his pension. Forest Preserve District General Superintendent Arnold Randall has said the officer’s file will reflect that he did not resign in good standing, with a note that he left the district with “discipline pending.”
“I have a problem with my tax dollars going to make sure he is comfortable with his retirement,” said Cristina Pacione-Zayas, co-chair of Puerto Rican Agenda for Chicago.
It is not immediately clear what retirement or benefits Connor may be entitled to. Connor has been and employee of the district since 2006, officials have said.
Before the start of the tirade, Trybus had been lounging on some tables that Irizarry had reserved in advance to celebrate her 24th birthday, she said.
In the video, Trybus is seen saying “you should not be wearing that in the United States of America,” and demanding to know if Irizarry is a U.S. citizen, apparently unaware that Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and its residents do indeed have U.S. citizenship.
During the ordeal, Irizarry is heard in the video saying, “Officer, I feel highly uncomfortable. Can you please grab him?” and the officer appears to turns away.
Trybus was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and assault. On Thursday he was charged with two felony counts of hate crime, Cook County State’s Attorney spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said.
Irizarry said Friday that although she was disappointed that she will not get to hear Connor’s explanation for his alleged inaction, she said “I feel indescribable joy.”
“This man will never be in a position to serve and protect a life, yet turn away again,” she said.
Following the incident an investigation was launched and Connor was put on desk duty on June 24 but officials have said that apparent delay was because Connor went on a planned vacation immediately after the incident and was put on desk duty when he returned. The Forest Preserves police chief said this week that “the officer should have stepped in, and he should have done something.”