Newburgh man pleads guilty to directing racial epithet at off-duty police officer

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William Ryan image from road rage incident

GOSHEN – A 61-year-old Newburgh man pled guilty in Orange County Court on Thursday to menacing as a hate crime and criminal possession of a weapon in connection with a verbal dispute in Newburgh in which the man spewed a racial epithet and drove off.

William Ryan, who is white, went so far as to tell the victim he was an off-duty police officer.

Wallkill Town Police Lieutenant Robert McLymore, who is African American and who lives in Newburgh where is also serves as the pastor of a church, was driving in Newburgh with his son at the time of the June 11 incident.

Ryan had engaged in a verbal dispute with McLymore cursing at him and driving off. Ryan then followed the victim and waived a knife at him, then left again before confronting McLymore one more time, cursing and using racial epithets and jabbing the blade into the open window of car while threatening to stab him.

After fleeing, Newburgh City Police later identified Ryan as the suspect and took him into custody at which time he admitted to being the perpetrator of the crime.

During the plea proceedings, Ryan admitted that he unlawfully possessed a knife that he used to place or attempt to place the victim in reasonable fear of physical injury, serious injury or death.

Ryan also admitted that he was motivated, in whole or part, to commit the offenses against the lieutenant based on a belief or perception about his race.

He apologized for his actions.

When sentenced in November, Ryan will receive six month incarceration, five years of probation and 500 hours of community service.

“Hate has no place in our community,” said District Attorney David Hoovler. “This defendant’s reprehensible conduct is particularly troubling because of the hatred that motivated it. While thankfully no was hurt during this violent episode, it is nevertheless a reminder that we must be diligent in addressing such conduct.”

The DA said he hopes Ryan not only learned the consequences of his actions, “but that the case stands as a warning to others that hate crimes will not be tolerated.”

n our community,” said District Attorney David Hoovler. “This defendant’s reprehensible conduct is particularly troubling because of the hatred that motivated it. While thankfully no was hurt during this violent episode, it is nevertheless a reminder that we must be diligent in addressing such conduct.”

The DA said he hopes Ryan not only learned the consequences of his actions, “but that the case stands as a warning to others that hate crimes will not be tolerated.”