New York State Sen. Mark J. Grisanti, R-I-60, announced Tuesday he will co-sponsor legislation in the Senate that would be the first in the nation to protect innocent bystanders from being sucker-punched and assaulted by gangs, who in many cases are juveniles.
The proposed bill, known as the "Knockout Game Deterrent Act," would ensure those convicted would receive up to 25 years in prison, regardless of their age, for sucker-punching and assaulting innocent bystanders.
Grisanti, who is the first senator from Western New York to co-sponsor this legislation, is joining Sen. Hugh Farley and Assemblyman Jim Tedisco in pushing the bill to combat the growing epidemic of what is being called on the streets "The Knockout Game," with people in New York and throughout other parts of the country participating in dangerous attacks that have resulted in several cases of serious injury and, in some instances, even death.
"I find it absolutely appalling that anyone would engage in this type of vicious behavior," Grisanti said. "We must send a clear message to anyone who has participated or has even thought of doing this that we will not tolerate these acts of violence. For those who do decide to attack the innocent, this legislation would guarantee serious repercussions for anyone involved."
The bill also calls for anyone who witnesses and takes part in these types of assaults to be held criminally responsible.
"Cowardly assaults on the innocent is despicable," Grisanti said. "This legislation is a step in the right direction of protecting the public from being assaulted by individuals who are acting irresponsibly as violent predators. Anyone who represents themselves as a danger to society must face the repercussions of their actions."