Senate Majority Leader Ruggerio bill would create stiff penalties for assaulting a delivery person
STATE HOUSE — Concerned with an uptick in assaults on delivery people, Senate Majority Leader Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, Providence, North Providence) has introduced legislation to specifically address the crime and create stiff penalties for it.
The legislation (2017-S 0230) would make assault and battery upon delivery persons a felony and would mandate a maximum sentence of imprisonment of three years or a $3,000 fine. The bill would also mandate a sentence of five to 20 years if the assault involves a dangerous weapon.
“We’ve seen more and more assaults on delivery people,” explained Leader Ruggerio. “With online ordering becoming exponentially more popular, it’s time to offer more protection as a deterrent to this crime. Letter carriers have had these protections in federal law for decades. Now the state should follow suit for people engaged in the commercial delivery of any items, whether it be food or merchandise.”
Providence City Councilman David Salvatore submitted a resolution to the council asking the General Assembly to protect drivers and stiffen penalties. Salvatore cited recent attacks, including a teenager delivering pizzas for Vasilios who was attacked by three men at the Cathedral Square apartments and robbed of $21.
“National studies list delivery drivers as one of the most dangerous professions year after year, and we’re seeing troubling evidence of that statistic in Providence,” said Councilman Salvatore. “Delivery drivers are often targeted for assault because they’re known to have cash on hand, which leaves them especially vulnerable. No employee should face those kinds of risks. I’m thankful that Senator Ruggerio is introducing legislation to ensure our delivery drivers are more thoroughly protected while they’re on the job.”
The bill is cosponsored by Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin (D-Dist. 1, Providence) and Senators Frank A. Ciccone III (D-Dist. 7, Providence, North Providence), Paul V. Jabour (D-Dist. 5, Providence) and Ana B. Quezada (D-Dist. 2, Providence). It has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903