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Marta Zielinska/WCBS 880

Man Charged With Hate Crime After Racist Rant Aboard LIRR Train

May 24, 2018 - 8:46 am
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- A Long Beach man has been charged with a hate crime for a rant aboard a Long Island Rail Road train last month that was caught on video.

The incident happened on a Long Beach-bound train from Penn Station as it approached Jamaica station on April 19.

Police said 58-year-old Edward Ruggiero yelled at a 25-year-old black woman from Lynbrook as she talked on her phone, threatening to hit her in the face and telling her to "Get off at Jamaica. Get off in the ghetto." 

WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE

“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," Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. "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.”

Ruggiero is charged with third-degree menacing as a hate crime and second-degree aggravated harassment. He was arraigned Wednesday night and released on bail. If convicted, he faces up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

WCBS 880's has reached out to Ruggiero's lawyer for comment.