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Man who called black woman a ‘loud-mouthed monkey’ charged with hate crime




New York train passenger recorded using racist language towards a 25-year-old woman for her “talking too loud” has been charged with a hate crime and could face a year in jail if convicted.

Edward Ruggiero, 58, a Long Island resident, was filmed by another passenger on the Long Island Railroad yelling at the woman.

“Shut the f*** up, you f****** loud-mouthed monkey,” Mr Ruggiero is shown yelling in the clip at passenger Soraya Orelien.

“At least I got a f****** mother. Do you know who your mother is? You don’t know who your mother or your father is because you’re a f****** monkey, that’s why,” he appears to yell in the video.

The charges against Mr Ruggiero include third-degree menacing as a hate crime, and second-degree aggravated harassment.

If convicted, Mr Ruggiero could face up to a year in jail, and/or a $1,000 fine.

He is currently being held pending arraignment in Queens Criminal Court, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.

“The bigotry and hatred the the defendant is accused of manifesting and acting upon have no place in a civilised society — especially in Queens County, the most culturally diverse county in the nation,” Richard Brown, the Queens district attorney, said in a statement.

“No one should be subjected to the vile words and intimidating actions the defendant is accused of tormenting the victim with,” Mr Brown continued. “Crimes of hate will never be tolerated here and when they do, regrettably occur, those responsible will be brought to justice.”

Mr Ruggiero’s lawyer Joseph Donatelli, called Mr Ruggiero’s language “unacceptable” but does not believe the video shows a hate crime.

“No question what he said was morally reprehensible, socially unacceptable, foul-mouthed, insulting,” Mr Donatelli told NBC New York. “I just don’t know whether or not it rolls to the level of a crime. The one thing we have a right to be in this country is to be a jerk.”

“Of course he’s sorry for what he says, he just, he lost it on the train,” Mr Donatelli said.

The attorney argues that the dispute was sparked by the woman’s phone conversation on the train, not her race.

“I think he lost it when — again, I only have limited information — I saw when he was talking about her being a loudmouth, she says, ‘Your mother is a loudmouth,’” Mr Donatelli said. “Again, it’s no excuse. I’m not making excuses for his behaviour. My question is whether it rolls to a crime.”

Ms Orelien said the experience left her feeling “disgusting”. He made me feel less than what I am,” she told ABC News in an interview. “He was so angry you saw the veins pop out of his neck”.

The incident occurred late last month on April 19. Ms Orelien says that she is scheduled to graduate from her school program May 30.

“I’m tired. I graduate My 30, I am [in] the last few weeks of school, finals are approaching. I’m tired,’ she said. “So when I come on the train, I am sitting down to relax until I get off at my stop”.




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