A Black pastor in New York's Hudson Valley was verbally assaulted by a man claiming to be an "off-duty trooper".
RD McLymore—a pastor in Newburgh, New York who also works as a law enforcement officer for the Wallkilll Police Department—shared his shocking encounter in a video posted to his Instagram page.
Warning: NSFW language
The video captured a White man pulling up in a red pick-up truck claiming to be an "off-duty trooper" before calling McLymore a racial slur.
McLymore could be heard from behind the camera asking the man if his behavior was reflective of the way troopers act, to which the man responded by saying "you'll never be White."
The man hurled a racial slur once more at McLymore before flipping him off and driving away.
McLymore shared in the video's caption the man followed him into the parking lot of a Chinese restaurant after McLymore allowed a car to go in front of him.
"This man had road rage and called us a [N-word] because I let a car in front of me."
"I knew it was going to be an event as soon as I pulled into the Chinese restaurant and he followed us."
He told us we will never be white and he’s an off duty Trooper (Which I do not believe.)"
McLymore also revealed the unidentified man threatened him and his party with a knife.
They were not the only victim of this man's verbal assault that day though.
"He pulled out a knife and threatened us."
"Then he went to Broadway Liquor and did the same thing to a Spanish couple."
"This is the world we live in."
Viewers were horrified by what they saw, while many applauded McLymore for keeping his composure.
After McLymore reported the man to local authorities, New York Democratic Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, Newburgh Mayor Torrance Harvey and Mid-Hudson Westchester NAACP Regional Director Wilbur Aldridge released a joint statement condemning the incident.
The statement also shared there have been multiple reports of this man verbally attacking people of color in the area.
"Racism has no place in our communities."
"This weekend, Pastor RD McLymore, a local pastor and law enforcement officer, released footage of a man harassing and threatening him."
"The footage is disturbing, as are reports that the man who harassed Pastor McLymore has repeatedly targeted other people of color in the area."
"We are working with local law enforcement to get more information about this and other incidents."
"We can and must do more to combat racism and support Black and Brown communities in the Hudson Valley."
A spokesperson for the New York State Police later confirmed to The Hudson Valley Post the man in the video was definitely not an "off-duty trooper" as he claimed.
"This man is not a trooper and has never been a trooper or affiliated in any way with the New York State Police or any other law enforcement agency."
Representative Maloney, Mayor Harvey and Aldridge later expressed their hopes the man in the video would be charged both for his threatening behavior towards McLymore, as well as for impersonating a state trooper.
Thankfully, justice was served.
In a subsequent Instagram post McLymore shared the press release from the City of Newburgh Police Department relaying the man who attacked him was arrested and charged with a Hate Crime.
The press release identified the man in the video as 60-year-old William J. Ryan, arrested for "Menacing Second Degree as a Hate Crime Class E. Felony."
The press release also included a statement from Police Chief Anthony Geraci.
"There is no place for hate in our community."
"Mr Ryan will be held accountable for his criminal actions and deplorable speech."
"His racist threats were not only harmful to the victims in this case, but echoes deep within our city."McLymore shared in the post's caption while he is grateful for Ryan's arrest, he is still recovering from his experience.
"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. Love you all!"Instagram users joined in celebrating Ryan's arrest.
McLymore later shared a personal message for Ryan with CBS News.
"I would say to him, number one, because I'm a spiritual person, I forgive you."
"But number two, you have to face the consequences for your actions and I hope that you get the help that you need."