Man pleads guilty to Mokena hate crime
BY JANET LUNDQUIST firstname.lastname@example.org November 6, 2013 1:38PM
Richard M. Cyplik | Supplied photo from Mokena police
Updated: December 9, 2013 10:23AM
A hate crime charge against a man accused of racially harassing his former neighbors in Mokena was dismissed, and the man pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal damage to property.
Richard M. Cyplik, 28, who previously lived at 11619 Seminole Court, Mokena, was arrested on the hate crime charge in June. He also was charged with aggravated assault, aggravated battery and vandalism, police said.
Cyplik since has moved to 7759 W. Emerald Court in Frankfort, according to court records.
In exchange for his plea on Oct. 29, Cyplik was sentenced to 180 days in jail, 24 months of probation and 100 hours of community service and was ordered to undergo anger management counseling and diversity training. The hate crime, assault, battery and vandalism charges were dropped.
On the evening of June 8, a black man was helping his friend, who also is black, move into an apartment when Cyplik walked over and yelled, “What are you two (expletive) looking at?” authorities said.
Cyplik spit in one victim’s face and pulled out a folding knife while claiming to be a gang member, authorities said.
Cyplik’s girlfriend took the knife away before Cyplik and one victim began punching each other, according to police. After the fight, Cyplik followed the victims as they walked away, shouting derogatory terms at them, police said.
Cyplik then threw a rock through the victim’s glass patio door, slashed a tire on one victim’s car and punched out the tail light, police said.