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Pa. bill would make assaulting employees enforcing face masks a felony


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Pennsylvania bill could make coronavirus-related assaults felonies

A bill from a Montgomery County lawmaker could make assaulting employees enforcing mask rules a felony.

The legislation comes after state mandates requiring customers and employees wear face masks amid the coronavirus pandemic have led to at least two assaults in Bucks County since May.

“Assaulting employees for simply enforcing health and safety rules is unacceptable, and those inflicting these attacks must be discouraged and held to account,” state Sen. Maria Collett, D-12, said in a Friday news release.

Collett's co-sponsorship memorandum cites three assaults where employees were attacked after asking patrons to follow mask orders or leave, in accordance with a state mandate in place since May.

The most recent case involved a 17-year-old Sesame Place employee who was hospitalized for a week after an alleged assault by two people early last month.

Middletown police said Troy McCoy, 39, and Shakerra Bonds, 31, assaulted a park employee after he reminded them of the face-covering requirement on Aug. 9.

Police previously said the victim's injuries included a fractured jaw, and a fundraising website for the victim included the teenager needed surgeries due following the assault.

An unidentified employee of a Perkasie business was allegedly assaulted by Elijah Scott Brown, 39, of Perkasie, in May. Brown allegedly assaulted the victim of the unidentified business on West Walnut Street after being asked to wear a face mask.

A third case gained national attention when Slatington resident Adam Zaborowski, 35, allegedly shot at an employee of a Bethlehem cigar store after being asked to leave for not wearing a face mask.

Zaborowski was arrested a day later after a shootout with state police and faces multiple charges including attempted murder.

A draft of the bill had not been posted on the state's General Assembly website as of Monday afternoon.
Glad to see that we are taking the face mask mandate seriously. But people are getting hurt over this mandate.

On a slightly related topic, at least one YouTube video that I watched last night had a group of Russian youths, half of whom claimed the virus was a hoax. I wonder how many people either don't concern themselves with it or also feel that it is a hoax.
Likely less enforced as a felony. As long as there is plenty of room to be begged-down to a misdemeanor, then the threat of felony should intimidate enough. I don't think felony prosecution, other than the threat thereof, is the right way, out of the gate. There would have to be other compounding action to rise to the level of a felony.
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