Road rage incident leads to hate crime charge

William J. Ryan is seen in this undated photo. - City of Newburgh Police Department via Facebook

(NEWBURGH, N.Y.) -- A man was arrested Tuesday following an alleged racist road rage incident against a father and son in Newburgh, New York.

Robert Mclymore, who is Black, told New York ABC station that he slowed to let a car pass in front of him on June 11. William Ryan, 60, a white man, was driving behind him and began shouting racist slurs at Mclymore, who was driving with his son.

Ryan began waving a box cutter at the two of them and tried to rear-end the car, according to Mclymore.

The driver allegedly followed Mclymore into a restaurant parking lot and claimed to be an off-duty trooper while giving Mclymore the middle finger, he said. Mclymore caught the incident on his cellphone.

Mclymore told WABC that he is actually a police lieutenant and pastor in the neighboring town of Wallkill.

"I just couldn't believe it," Mclymore told WABC about the incident. "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."

Ryan has been charged with second-degree menacing as a hate crime, a Class E felony, according to the Newburgh Police Department. He is being held in police custody until his arraignment on Wednesday evening.

"There is no place for hate in our community," Newburgh Police Chief Anthony Geraci wrote in a statement. "Mr. Ryan will be held accountable for his criminal actions and deplorable speech. His racists (sic) threats were not only harmful to the victim in this case but echoes deep within our City."

Wednesday, June 15, 2022 at 1:23PM by Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News Permalink