Man wanted for failing to appear in court for hate crime found dead
News 12 has learned that a Newburgh man charged in a violent road rage hate crime, and wanted for failing to appear in court, was found dead in a hotel, according to police.
As News 12 reported on Sept. 27, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said a bench warrant was issued for William Ryan, 62, after he failed to appear to court on May 1.
News 12 received information from a law enforcement source, following our report, that Ryan was found dead several months ago in New Windsor.
New Windsor police confirm that Ryan was found dead from a fentanyl overdose at the Red Roof Inn on April 12.
The district attorney’s office was unaware of his death, and have since updated their records, after also confirming the information with police.
Ryan was charged with menacing as a hate crime in 2022 after he was seen holding a box cutter at the passenger’s side window of off-duty Town of Wallkill Police Lt. Robert McLymore, who had his teenage son in the car at the time.
McLymore recorded the encounter in the City of Newburgh with his cellphone. Ryan was heard during the incident referring to McLymore using a racial slur and falsely identifying himself as a state police trooper.
Ryan was indicted and free without bail during the court proceedings.
He was supposed plead guilty at his final court appearance in March and was expected to serve a negotiated sentence of six months in jail, but the judge took the offer off the table when Ryan showed up to court five hours late with conflicting excuses.
News 12 was in court during the appearance. Ryan eventually said he “fibbed” about why he was late, and said he was on alcohol and Valium during the crime.
New Windsor Police say Ryan’s autopsy showed he had multiple substances in his system at the time of his death, including alcohol and fentanyl.