PA 09-191—sHB 6025

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING THE PENALTY FOR ENGAGING A POLICE OFFICER IN PURSUIT AND ASSAULTING A PUBLIC TRANSIT EMPLOYEE

SUMMARY: This act increases the penalty, from a class D to a class C felony (see Table on Penalties), for someone who, in order to elude a police officer, increases his or her driving speed after an officer in a police vehicle signals him or her to stop by using an audible signal or flashing lights for a:

1. first offense that causes death or serious physical injury and

2. second offense.

By law, unchanged by the act, a first offense that does not cause death or serious physical injury is a class A misdemeanor.

By law, (1) a first offense carries a one year driver's license suspension and a subsequent offense carries a suspension of 18 months to two years and (2) a one year mandatory minimum sentence applies if the current and a prior offense caused death or serious physical injury.

The act makes assault of public transit personnel a class C felony, the same penalty as for assault of public safety and emergency medical personnel. A person commits assault of public transit personnel by assaulting a reasonably identifiable public transit employee who is performing his or her duties, with intent to prevent the employee from performing them, by doing any of the following to the employee:

1. causing injury;

2. throwing potentially damaging objects;

3. using tear gas, Mace, or a similar agent;

4. throwing paint, dye, or any other offensive substance; or

5. throwing bodily fluid, such as feces, blood, or saliva.

The act defines a public transit employee as someone (1) employed by the state, a political subdivision, or transit district or (2) who operates a vehicle or vessel for public rail, ferry, or fixed route bus service or has duties directly related to operating the vehicle or vessel under a contract with the transportation commissioner to provide transportation services.

Under other law, assaults are punishable, depending on the conduct, by penalties ranging from a class A misdemeanor to a class A felony.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2009

OLR Tracking: CR: JH: PF: ts