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Public shaming feels like punishment enough for bigot of Caldwell Woods

What’s to be gained by dispatching him to prison? We could fill every cell in America with people like him.

Forest Preserve Officer Patrick Connor talks with Timothy Trybus.
Forest Preserve Officer Patrick Connor talks with Timothy Trybus.
Screen image from video.

A feeling of satisfaction washed across town on Wednesday when a man who had harassed a woman for wearing a Puerto Rican flag T-shirt at a forest preserve was found guilty of a hate crime.

The guy was a jerk. He had it coming.

But now that Timothy Trybus, 63, has been convicted on two felony hate crime counts — charges that were upgraded from misdemeanors — we can’t see what’s to be gained by dispatching him to prison.

Every prison cell in America could be filled with people like him.

When Trybus, who is being held in jail, is sentenced on Oct. 21, it would be entirely reasonable to sentence him to time served plus community service. He might learn something.

Trybus faces up to five years in prison, which makes no sense for a guy who mostly comes off as that really obnoxious neighbor everybody tries to avoid. You know the type.

No one was injured, not physically, in the ugly incident last summer, and Trybus already has paid a big price. Headline writers have not been kind. Nor has social media. The news stories of his behavior on that day in June in Caldwell Woods will exist forever in cyberspace.

And that video taken by the victim, who remarkably managed to keep her composure, sure went viral. It will haunt him.

Public shaming can be a kind of prison cell.

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