Assembly passes increased penalties for assaulting delivery person
STATE HOUSE — The General Assembly gave final passage today to legislation to create stiff penalties for assault on a delivery person. The bill was introduced by Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, Providence, North Providence) and Representative Raymond A. Hull (D – Dist. 6, North Providence, Providence).
The legislation (2017-S 0230, 2017-H 5954) 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 President 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.”
Said Representative Hull, “Unfortunately, being a delivery driver is consistently one of the more dangerous jobs one can have in our society. They are too often assaulted and robbed while they make our lives easier by delivering our goods straight to our homes. It’s time we send a clear message to any predators who prey upon these hard-working men and women that their crimes will be punished severely.”
Providence City Councilman David Salvatore submitted a resolution to the council asking the General Assembly to protect drivers and stiffen penalties. Salvatore cited 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 measure now heads to Governor Gina M. Raimondo for her consideration.
For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903