An upstate New York man faces hate crime charges after unleashing a racial attack on a Black motorist.
William Ryan, 60, was arrested and charged with second-degree menacing as a hate crime Tuesday after following a man and his son in Newburgh, attempting to stab them with a box cutter and calling them the N-word. Ryan also claimed to be a state trooper.
Robert McLymore, a pastor and police lieutenant in a nearby upstate New York town, said he let another driver get in front of him in traffic on Saturday, which seemed to enrage Ryan. The white man rear-ended Mclymore’s vehicle he was traveling in with his son. Ryan followed the Black family into a parking lot and accosted them with the box cutter.
Eyewitness News ABC7NY published part of the incident captured on video.
“I’m an off-duty trooper, you f—-ng stupid n—-r,” Ryan as he pulled away in a red pickup truck.. “You’ll always be a n—-r. You’ll never be white. You’ll never be white. F— you!”
“That’s how troopers act?” Mclymore asked.
“F—- you,” said Ryan as he stuck out his middle finger.
The news station reports that the New York State Police said Ryan is not a trooper.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” Mclymore said. “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.”
“Forty-five years I’ve been living here. Nobody’s ever done anything like this. Nobody has ever put a box cutter to my face or anything like that or disrespected me in any way,” he said. “So I was shocked. I replay it in my mind probably every three seconds.”
The video footage has sparked outrage in the diverse city, but McLymore said as a church leader, he forgives Ryan. The pastor and his son were not injured, but Ryan punctured Mclymore’s cellphone case.
About 40 percent of Newburg’s 28,834 residents are white, 21 percent are Black, and about 54 percent are Hispanic. Ryan is a Newburg resident. McLymore works and pastors a church in Wallkin, a town less than 30 minutes away.
“There is no place for hate in our community,” Newburgh Police Chief Anthony Geraci said. “Mr. Ryan will be held accountable for his criminal actions and deplorable speech. His racist threats were not only harmful to the victim in this case, but echoes deep within our city.”
Newburgh Mayor Torrance Harvey, a Black man, said he was surprised to learn of the incident.
“I just couldn’t believe somebody would use those words in 2022,” Harvey said.