New York man charged with a hate crime after threatening and yelling at a Black lieutenant 'you'll never be white' in road rage incident, police say

·3 min read
Police car lights
Lights on a police car.Oliver Helbig/Getty Images
  • A man who claimed to be an "off-duty trooper" was charged with a hate crime following a racist road rage incident.

  • The man, identified by police as William J. Ryan, was arrested on charges of Menacing Second Degree as a Hate Crime.

  • Robert McLymore, a lieutenant and pastor, said Ryan yelled racial slurs and threatened to "cut" him with a boxcutter.

A New York man has been charged with a hate crime following a racist road rage incident that was caught on camera.

The man, identified by police as 60-year-old William J. Ryan, claimed to be an "off-duty trooper" in Newburgh on June 11 when he intercepted Robert McLymore and his 18-year-old son, hurling racist slurs at the pair, who are Black.

"I'm an off-duty trooper, you fucking stupid n---er," Ryan said to McLymore, according to a video of the incident. "You'll never be white! You'll never be white!"

McLymore, a pastor as well as a lieutenant with the Town of Wallkill Police Department, told CNN the encounter began when a man, later identified by police as Ryan, driving a red truck got angry and sped around him after McLymore slowed his car to let another car pass him.

When McLymore pulled up next to Ryan to ask him about the altercation, Ryan said, "I thought you were letting me go in front of you," and then began to yell at McLymore and his son, CNN reported, citing a police report of the incident.

"He parked his car and began walking up to mine with a box cutter. He yells to me 'I'll cut you, you fucking n---er," McLymore told CNN, adding that this was before he pulled out his phone and started recording. He tried to deescalate the situation by driving away and parking in a parking lot, but Ryan followed him, he told the outlet.

Ryan allegedly accosted McLymore a second and a third time over the course of about 15 minutes, CNN reported. During the final altercation, Ryan again approached the vehicle and threatened to stab McLymore while wielding a sharp weapon. CNN has seen a video of the incident, the outlet reported.

"I was in shock. I couldn't believe it was happening to me, and I've lived here for 45 years," McLymore told the outlet. "Nothing like this has ever happened."

A spokesperson for the New York State Police told CNN that Ryan is not a New York state trooper and is not affiliated with "any law enforcement agencies."

According to a press release from the Newburgh Police Department, Ryan was arrested for Menacing Second Degree as a Hate Crime, which is a Class E felony.

"Mr. Ryan will be held accountable for his criminal actions and deplorable speech," chief Anthony Geraci said. "His racist threats were not only harmful to the victim in this case, but echoes deep within our City."

McLymore shared the arrest on his Facebook page for his church.

"Although there was an arrest made, Just give me a minute to recoup!! And no I'm not ok but I'll be better with God's strength! I still need to process," McLymore said on Facebook.

CNN reported that Ryan pleaded not guilty during his arrangement. Insider was not able to reach Ryan's attorney on Saturday.

Read the original article on Insider