New York road rage incident reported to involve a knife and slur results in hate crime charge

·2 min read

William J. Ryan, who is white, was arrested on a second-degree charge of menacing as a hate crime.

A white New York man was taken into custody on a hate crime charge Tuesday after directing racial slurs and waving a knife at a Black man who was driving with his son.

William J. Ryan, 60, began trailing Robert Mclymore, who is Black, in his vehicle during a road rage incident in Newburgh, a city approximately 70 miles north of New York City. The June 11 incident was caught on video.

Adobe Stock Image.
Adobe Stock Image.

After Mclymore slowed to allow a car to pass him, Ryan, who drove a burgundy pickup truck, is heard screaming in a cell phone video Mclymore shared with ABC7 and on Facebook: “You’ll never be white. F*** you.”

Misidentifying himself as an off-duty police trooper, Ryan shouted the N-word at Mclymore and his son, giving them the middle finger and brandishing a box cutter in their direction. He also tried to rear-end their car while following them into a restaurant parking lot, per reports.

Authorities later confirmed that Ryan is not a state trooper, the outlet reported.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” said Mclymore, who serves as an actual police lieutenant and church pastor in Wallkill, New York. “I couldn’t believe the racial epithets, him saying that he was a cop or a trooper. Most of all him doing what he did and he’s an older gentleman.”

According to ABC7, once Ryan displayed the knife, Mclymore could have taken police action. He reportedly did not want his son to experience any additional trauma, though, opting instead to file a report.

Mclymore claimed that a small hole was left in his phone case from Ryan’s attempts to stab him in the parking lot, per reports.

Mclymore told the outlet that he had never experienced anything like that in decades and mentally re-lives the traumatic event frequently: “I replay it in my mind probably every three seconds,” he said.

On Tuesday, Ryan was arrested and faces a second-degree charge of menacing as a hate crime, according to ABC7.

“I just couldn’t believe somebody would use those words in 2022,” said Newburgh Mayor Torrance Harvey, per the outlet.

Newburgh Police Chief Anthony Geraci released a statement condemning Ryan’s crimes, writing: “There is no place for hate in our community.”

“Mr. Ryan will be held accountable for his criminal actions and deplorable speech,” Geraci continued. “His racists (sic) threats were not only harmful to the victim in this case, but echoes deep within our city.”

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