HARRISBURG – To afford police officers the same protection from assault as prison guards, the House Judiciary Committee today approved Rep. Lou Schmitt’s (R-Blair) House Bill 103
Schmitt’s legislation 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.
“Infectious disease, mainly COVID-19, has been on the minds of all Pennsylvanians this past year. Unfortunately, police officers who are spit upon while apprehending a suspect have dealt with contracting diseases for decades now,” said Schmitt. “Individuals who carry out these kinds of disgusting and dangerous assaults on law enforcement officers deserve to be behind bars, and that’s just where my bill will put them.”
One such incident, which was highlighted in a news report, was of how a suspect, who knew he had HIV, in South Carolina intentionally spit at police officers who were attempting to restrain him. One of the officers whose face was spit on had to undergo intense medical treatment and testing.
House Bill 103 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 a $10,000 fine; and an enhanced third-degree felony, which includes up to seven years and up to a $15,000 fine, if the person knows or has reason to know he or she has an infectious disease.
“My bill clearly outlines assault with bodily fluids must be intentional and not an instance of an accidental spitting during a heated exchange,” Schmitt said. “This bill only targets those who weaponize their own diseases to harm those who are upholding the law.”
House Bill 103 now goes to the full House for consideration.
For more information on Schmitt and his legislative priorities, please visit RepLouSchmitt.com
Representative Lou Schmitt
79th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Greg Gross