NY raises penalty for assaulting crossing guards

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Two new laws are raising the penalty for assaulting New York City Housing Authority workers doing their jobs or a school crossing guard anywhere in the state.

The amendments signed Monday give those public workers similar status under the penal law as police officers, firefighters, paramedics, nurses, emergency room staff, school employees and city sanitation workers.

The laws will raise misdemeanor assault to a felony in 30 days for the housing authority workers and Nov. 1 for crossing guards.

Sponsors say assaults aren’t unusual against staff at housing projects, including a caretaker at South Jamaica Houses in Queens who recently fought off an attempted rape.

They also say there are untold, often unreported incidents where crossing guards are menaced by cars, spit on and hit while trying to protect children.

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