HARRISBURG – Police officers would be afforded further protection from assault under legislation approved by the House today. The bill, authored by Rep. Lou Schmitt (R-Blair), would make it a criminal offense for an officer to be assaulted with bodily fluids, such as spit. It would also provide a stricter penalty for people who have an infectious disease and are convicted of assaulting an officer with bodily fluids.
“A police officer alerted me that it is not a crime for someone to spit on an officer. However, it is a crime if a law enforcement officer is assaulted with bodily fluids if the offender is committed to a correctional facility or is being transported to such a facility,” Schmitt said. “This bill closes that loophole.”
House Bill 2016
would create a new criminal offense for people who assault police officers with bodily fluids. Should the bill become law, the offense would be classified as a first-degree misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 fine; and an enhanced third-degree felony, which includes up to seven years and up to $15,000 fine, if the person knows or has reason to know they have an infectious disease.
“Assaulting a police officer with a bodily fluid cannot be tolerated and this bill provides the needed tools to combat this kind of assault,” Schmitt said. “The bill clearly outlines that assault with bodily fluids must be intentional and not an instance of an accidental spitting during a heated exchange.”
House Bill 2016 now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Representative Lou Schmitt
79th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Greg Gross