FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Dom Costa
House passes Costa's bill to protect public safety personnel
Legislation would make assault a second degree felony
HARRISBURG, June 26 – The House today unanimously passed state Rep. Dom Costa's H.B. 1646 that would increase penalties for assaulting school crossing guards, volunteer firefighters and special fire police.
"When you are doing a job that provides for the public safety, you should be afforded as much protection under the law as possible," said Costa, D-Allegheny.
Currently, an attack on a school crossing guard, volunteer firefighter or special fire police officer is graded as a simple assault. Under H.B. 1646, a person who attempts to cause or intentionally or knowingly causes bodily injury to a crossing guard, volunteer firefighter or special fire police officer could face a second degree felony charge punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and/or up to 10 years in prison, the same for police, school and municipal officials and public utility workers.
Costa first introduced legislation after a Pittsburgh crossing guard was assaulted while on the job but the attacker could not be charged with aggravated assault because the crossing guard was not protected by state statute.
House Bill 1646 now moves to the state Senate for consideration.