L.B. man pleads guilty to harassment on LIRR


A Long Beach man pleaded guilty on July 12 to aggravated harassment and disorderly conduct after shouting racial slurs at a Lynbrook woman on the Long Island Rail Road in April.

Edward Ruggiero, 58, of E. Penn St., approached the 25-year-old woman on April 19 between the Forest Hills and Jamaica stations, raised his hand toward her and said, “I’ll smack the [expletive] out of you, you loud mouth monkey [expletive].”

According to the Queens District Attorney office, Ruggiero took a plea deal that will require him to undergo three months of bias sensitivity training. He pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated harassment and one count of disorderly conduct.

The original charges included third-degree menacing as a hate crime, and Ruggiero would have faced up to a year in jail.

Authorities said Ruggiero imitated the sounds of a monkey and said she should “get off at Jamaica. Get off in the ghetto.”

A video of the man screaming at the woman on the train went viral in May after it was posted on social media. After the verbal attack, Ruggiero was taken into custody when Metropolitan Transportation Authority police conducted an investigation.

“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 in a statement in May.

Ruggiero’s attorney, Joseph Donatelli, did not immediately return a request for comment.