Candidate believes threatening a with a needle should be a felony, and require a consecutive sentence
State Assembly candidate Joseph Borelli (R,C,I – 62nd A.D.) is proposing two new sections of Article 265 of the New York State Penal Law:
265.50 Criminal Use of a Hypodermic Instrument in the Second Degree.
A person is guilty of criminal use of a hypodermic instrument in the second degree if he or she threatens the use of a hypodermic syringe during the commission of any Penal Law misdemeanor.
Criminal use of a hypodermic instrument in the second degree is a class E felony.
265.51 Criminal Use of a Hypodermic Instrument in the First Degree.
A person is guilty of criminal use of a hypodermic instrument in the first degree if he or she threatens the use of a hypodermic syringe during the commission of any Penal Law felony.
Criminal use of a hypodermic instrument is a class C felony and carries a sentence consecutive to any sentences for the underlying felony.
“This is one area of law where members of the public are forced to ask themselves, ‘How is this not on the books already?” said Borelli.
Currently, persons using hypodermic needles in the commission of a crime can be charged with criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument, which is a class A misdemeanor (Penal Law 220.45) carrying only up to one year in city jail. The change in law would cover both persons illegally possessing hypodermic needles, and those who acquire and possess needles legally through a prescription, licensed pharmacy, or exchange program.
Continued Borelli, “Using a needle to commit a crime is truly playing into people’s worst fears, and people who would resort to it are extremely deranged and ought to be punished accordingly. For the past few weeks, New Yorkers were rightfully on edge as the NYPD hunted and caught Anthony Cintron for a slew of these crimes. We need to make sure degenerates like this are kept in prison for lengthy sentences.”
As many New Yorkers recall, Cintron was responsible for carrying out at least nine robberies in august and September using a needle to threaten victims in the Bronx. He has since been charged with robbery and criminal possession of a weapon, a misdemeanor. Additionally, a man stabbed an MTA bus driver with a syringe on September 24th in Brooklyn. This suspect is still at large.
The proposed criminal use laws would carry a maximum of four years for the class E felony (Criminal use of a hypodermic instrument in the second degree) and up to fifteen years for the class C felony (first degree).
“A needle from unknown origin could be as dangerous as a loaded gun,” concluded Borelli. “These penalties will finally reflect the lifetime of medical treatment a victim infected with a disease like hepatitis C would require.”