Jury still out on Canandaigua man facing harassment as hate crime charges

Michael Orbino, 42, is awaiting a jury verdict after allegedly screaming racial profanities at two local African-American high school students who were working on a school assignment at Baker Park.

Orbino was charged Feb. 14 with two counts of third-degree stalking as a hate crime and first-degree harassment as a hate crime. Canandaigua City Police later added an additional charge of making a terroristic threat, which was dismissed by Judge Douglas Randall, who is sitting in from Monroe County.

“I thought I was going to be killed or attacked,” stated one of the teenage girls during the trial. “When he came to our side of the tree, we ran to the car.”

Orbino’s fate ended up as five charges presented to the jury Monday afternoon. At that point, the 42-year-old faced third-degree stalking as a hate crime, third-degree stalking, first-degree harassment as a hate crime, first-degree harassment, and second-degree harassment. Randall presented the two lesser charges to the jury.

Two Canandaigua Academy students who are African-American were at Baker Park getting ready to take pictures for a digital photography school assignment when they heard the racial slurs being hurled at them, according to court testimony.

“He said that he was a white supremacist and going to kill all the n—,” stated the student during the four-day trial.

Orbino came as close as 20 feet from the girls before they fled to their nearby parked car, according to court testimony.

Also reportedly hearing racial slurs was a resident of a neighboring house to the park. He testified that he saw Orbino wave his hands in the air screaming and using profane gestures. The neighbor, fearful for the safety of children soon to be dismissed from the primary school, called 911.

A second witness, who was on her way to the park to walk her dog, also called police when she saw Orbino and heard him screaming racial slurs, according to testimony.

Orbino was picked up by the City of Canandaigua Police and transported to the Ontario County Jail. While being transported, he slammed his own head into the cage of the police vehicle, according to testimony. Deputies would not admit him into the jail in his irate state, so he was transported to the hospital instead.

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