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The 15400 block of Begonia Court, where Terrence Clyne allegedly punched his Palestinian neighbor and made hateful comments toward them Wednesday.

The 15400 block of Begonia Court, where Terrence Clyne allegedly punched his Palestinian neighbor and made hateful comments toward them Wednesday.

Emmanuel Camarillo

Man who allegedly punched Palestinian neighbor, shouted epithets in Orland Park is charged with hate crime

An Orland Park man who allegedly struck and made hateful comments toward a neighbor of Palestinian descent during a dispute over garbage cans is facing a felony hate crime charge.

Terrence Clyne, 68, is also charged with two misdemeanor counts of battery in the incident, which allegedly happened about 10:35 a.m. Wednesday in the 15400 block of Begonia Court, according to Orland Park police.

Officers responded to a report of a battery at the location and learned that Clyne had allegedly battered a man who moved garbage cans from one area of a communal driveway to another, police said.

Clyne made hateful comments referring to the man’s Palestinian origin and punched the man in the face, police said.

The man’s wife stepped in and tried to deescalate the situation, but Clyne allegedly made more hateful comments toward her and her Palestinian heritage, police said.

Clyne moved toward the woman “aggressively,” and her husband tried to step in between them, but police said Clyne punched the man in the face again.

According to court documents, Clyne punched the man with a closed fist twice while yelling anti-Palestinian epithets.

Clyne was released from custody after his court appearance Thursday morning, court records show.

There were no signs of the confrontation Thursday afternoon on the quiet Orland Park block where the incident occurred.

Neighbor T.J. Schaal, 31, said he heard plenty of yelling from his room Wednesday morning but didn’t get a good look at the confrontation.

Schaal said he didn’t hear everything that happened, but remembers hearing someone yell “open the door!” Schaal said, adding that he also heard what sounded like someone pounding on a garage door.

“It was loud,” Schaal said. Officers showed up not long after he heard the shouting.

Bernadette Schaal, T.J.’s mom, has lived in the neighborhood for several years. She said the area is very welcoming of many families of Arab and Muslim heritage, and was surprised to hear of the hate crime investigation.

“This is a huge melting pot,” the 52-year-old said. “I’ve lived here a very long time and that stuff, I’ve never seen it. I’m kind of shocked, to be honest with you.”

Bernadette Schall and her family said they really only see Clyne when he gets his mail, and interactions with him have been cordial.

Since war broke out in Gaza on Oct. 7, hate directed at Chicago-area Arab Americans and Muslims, as well as antisemitic incidents and rhetoric, have left both communities feeling fearful and isolated.

Two Chicago-area Muslim schools have received violent threats, a suburban man was charged with a hate crime for threatening to shoot two Muslim men and another suburban man allegedly told a woman, “Go back to your country.”

And 6-year-old Palestinian American Wadea Al-Fayoume was killed in an alleged hate crime in Plainfield Township because of his ethnicity and Muslim faith, authorities said.

After the incident in Orland Park, the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations released a statement applauding the hate crime charges brought against Clyne.

“We welcome the hate crime charge in this case as an indication that anti-Palestinian attacks will be taken seriously by law enforcement authorities and that the alleged perpetrators will face justice,” said CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab.

Antisemitic signs and flyers were found on the Northwest Side, LaGrange and Elmhurst in November, and the word “Nazis” was spray-painted on the Michigan home of former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Last week, a woman was arrested on suspicion of drawing swastikas and other antisemitic graffiti on an Orthodox Jewish school, a Chicago Park District facility and other buildings on the North Side.

Contributing: Nader Issa

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