FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Dom Costa
Costa continues his effort to protect school crossing guards
Introduces bill that would stiffen penalties for assaulting a school crossing guard
HARRISBURG, June 8 – State Rep. Dom Costa has reintroduced legislation that would make it a second degree felony to assault a school crossing guard.
"Imagine that your job is to protect children. Yet if you're attacked, the alleged perpetrator could not be charged with assault because of a flaw in current state law," said Costa, D-Allegheny. "This bill would fix that oversight."
House Bill 1646 would include uniformed school crossing guards under the protections of the aggravated assault statute (Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes) whether they are hired by a school district, municipal government or a police department when they are in uniform and performing the duties of their job. Currently, police, school and municipal officials receive that protection under the law. The offense would be graded as a felony of the second degree, punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and/or up to 10 years in prison.
Protecting school crossing guards became a priority for Costa after a Pittsburgh school crossing guard was assaulted while on the job. The perpetrator was arrested and charged with aggravated assault by the District Attorney. However, the Magistrate did not charge her because the crossing guard was not protected by the statute.
Last session, Costa's school crossing assault bill (H.B. 2087) was voted out of committee, but time did not allow for the bill to be brought up for a final vote in the House. The bill had bipartisan support.