WARWICK, PA (VINnews) – A Pennsylvania man faces charges of ethnic intimidation and harassment after spending part of his Thanksgiving sending antisemitic images and videos to a Jewish man via text message.
Hunter Robert-William Ryan, 21, of the 2600 block of Fallow Hill Lane in Warwick Township, was arrested Tuesday night and arraigned on the misdemeanor charges.
District Judge Maggie Snow ordered Ryan to have no contact with the victim and set bail at $50,000 unsecured.
“People deserve to feel safe across all forms of communication,” said District Attorney Matthew D. Weintraub. “While we review these incidents on a case by case basis, generally hate speech becomes criminal when it is implicitly harassing or threatening towards someone else. If you are threatened in a text message or on social media, please don’t engage. Take screen shots of the offending messages and report them to the police.”
According to an affidavit of probable cause filed by investigators from the Buckingham Township Police Department, Ryan sent the victim images depicting a Nazi flag and symbols, photos and a video of Adolf Hitler, an image of Anne Frank followed by a photo of ashes and other vitriolic messages.
The victim received the first message at 12:23 p.m. on Thursday and the final message just before 1 a.m. Friday.
Ryan continued sending the messages despite the victim asking repeatedly that he stop.
After receiving the first message – a Nazi symbol followed by “hahaha” – the victim asked Ryan why he had sent it. The complaint says Ryan responded, “because it’s funny.”