Ruggiero was riding the LIRR between the Forest Hills and Jamaica stations when he approached the alleged victim.
By Forum Staff
A Long Beach man has been charged with a hate crime after he verbally attacked a fellow passenger on the LIRR.
Edward Ruggiero, 58, of E. Penn Street in Long Beach, was held last week pending arraignment on a complaint that charged him with third-degree menacing as a hate crime and second-degree aggravated harassment.
On April 19, between 9:53 and 10:25 pm, Ruggiero was riding the LIRR between the Forest Hills and Jamaica stations, when he approached a 25-year-old female resident of Lynbrook, who was seated on the train.
Authorities say Ruggiero raised his hand toward the woman, and stated “I’ll smack the [expletive deleted] out of you, you loud mouth monkey [expletive deleted].” It is further alleged that defendant Ruggiero continued screaming at the complainant calling her a “black monkey” and that she should “Get off at Jamaica. Get off in the ghetto” and then began to imitate the sounds monkeys make.
District Attorney Brown said, “The bigotry and hatred that the defendant is accused of manifesting and acting upon have no place in a civilized society – especially in Queens County, the most culturally diverse county in the nation. No one should be subjected to the vile words and intimidating actions the defendant is accused of tormenting the victim with. Crimes of hate will never be tolerated here and when they do, regrettably occur, those responsible will be brought to justice.”
If convicted, Ruggiero faces up to a year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.