Timothy Trybus gets probation for viral hate crime, a common outcome for white defendants in Cook County

Trybus avoided up to five years in prison for berating a woman wearing a Puerto Rican flag T-shirt last year.

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Mia Irizarry testified in court that she instinctively began to livestream Timothy Trybus berating her for wearing a Puerto Rican T-shirt at a Cook County forest preserve last year. The recording later went viral.

Timothy Trybus will head home Monday after spending 27 days at Cook County Department of Corrections.

Cook County Judge Aleksandra Nikolic Gillespie handed the 64-year-old, whose racist rant against a woman wearing a Puerto Rican flag T-shirt in Caldwell Woods Forest Preserve went viral last year, two years of probation and 200 hours of community service – the minimum possible sentence. He will also be banned from all Cook County forest preserves for two years.

“I am so ashamed I said what I said to that lady,” Trybus said, addressing the court to apologize for his actions. “I’m extremely embarrassed and saddened by the day.”

On June 14, 2018, Trybus verbally assaulted Anairis “Mia” Irizarry as she attempted to celebrate her birthday at the North Side forest preserve. Irizarry livestreamed the video on Facebook and it was later uploaded to YouTube, garnering thousands of views. 

Last month, Trybus was found guilty of two counts of hate crimes for the incident. Though he spent nearly a month in jail, he ultimately avoided up to five years in prison.

That’s actually a common outcome for white defendants found guilty of hate crimes in Cook County.

Out of the 36 white defendants found guilty of a hate crime in Cook County during the last 10 years, only 12 have been sentenced to prison, according to a Chicago Reporter analysis of publicly available data from the Cook County data portal.

The analysis shows that in 60% of cases with a white defendant, the defendant was sentenced to probation. On the other hand, only 22% of black defendants in hate crime cases were given probation — the rest were sentenced to prison.

Assistant State’s Attorney Sharon Kanter recommended probation and 300 hours of community service, along with alcohol counseling.

At sentencing, Trybus said he’s been sober since his arrest last year.