A father Julio Torres was assaulted last year In New York. He had lost his credit card and upon returning it his assailant demanded a drink be bought for him which Julio declined. Video evidence proved that Julio displayed no signs of aggression towards his assailant or any other persons present, he even called the police after the assailant first punched him. A second reported single heavy punch to his head resulted in him sustaining a severe traumatic brain injury that led to his death having spent over seven months incapacitated in hospital facilities. His two year old son is now left without a father. Due to current constraints of New York law, his assailant although found guilty of assault with intent and with a history of felony assault was only charged with a misdemeanor and sentenced to a mere 15 months (the maximum for a misdemeanor with intent). His case and many others like it are a reflection of the failure of current state law as a preventative measure against violence and as a form of protection.
Violent crime in New York is on the increase. For any assailant who causes violent serious physical injury only to be charged with a misdemeanor sends the wrong message to the people of New York. It is not acceptable to hurt someone causing serious physical injury and ultimately bring about their death only to be charged with an offense that carries the maximum sentence of a mere 15 months. Such assailants are a danger to society and in committing a crime that causes serious physical injury to another they need to be tried for a felony. This affects everyone that lives in New York State. Potential assailants have access to tutorials on the internet how to kill a man with one punch. Our society needs to be protected by the law and be confident that perpetrators of such horrific crimes will not be able to walk the streets shortly thereafter with the potential to take another life and leave another family torn apart. The law needs to protect citizens from such violent thugs and punish them by depriving them of their freedom and taking them off the streets for the safety of others. Senate Bill S3178A (Ildefonso Romero Jr.’s Law) which has been referred to the Assembly Committee on Code, addresses this issue/loophole in the law. This new law would ultimately reduce violence by making people think twice before laying a punch on another or causing serious physical injury by any means. If every member of our society is aware that there is a possibility of being tried for a felony by laying just one single fateful punch on another, children will grow up with the mindset that physical violence is not acceptable behavior by any measure. Bill S3178A needs to be made law so that the public knows that violent assault will not be tolerated in New York state, that if a person causes serious physical injury to another human being they will be tried for a felony no matter what.
We ask you to support this bill. This bill needs to be made law now before more similar violent crimes are committed and lives ruined. We need to reduce the crime rates in New York, not by reducing the sentencing of criminals but by sending a clear message that violence is unacceptable and thereby preventing these crimes from occurring.
Just one punch can ruin the lives of both the victim and the person who throws the punch. We, the citizens of New York, believe that this new law is much needed and will send a clear message that New York State wants to keep people safe and alive.