An Illinois man is facing a hate crime charge for giving a Nazi salute and saying “white power” to a mixed-race family outside a pharmacy, police said.
Justyn Giarraputo, 37, was arrested by cops in New Lenox Friday, one day after a woman told investigators he made the offensive gesture and yelled the racist slogan several times toward her and her three children outside a Walgreens, police said.
The woman’s three children, two of whom are black, had stayed in her car as she went into the pharmacy, she told cops.
The man later identified as Giarraputo was sitting in a vehicle parked next to hers when he struck his chest and made the hateful comment and gesture as she was leaving, police said.
“The victim was afraid for her safety and that of her children,” police said in a statement.
The quick-thinking mom took a photo of Giarraputo’s license plate and called cops, setting off an investigation into the incident.
Giarraputo was then arrested at his home and investigators presented the case to the Will County State’s Attorney office, police said.
Prosecutors later charged Giarraputo with one felony count of a hate crime and misdemeanor disorderly conduct. He was released from custody Saturday after posting $5,000 bond, police said.
Attempts to reach Giarraputo, of New Lenox, Wednesday were unsuccessful. He does not have a listed phone number, a search of public records shows.
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