The PBA is supporting and helping the family of Trooper Craig J. Todeschini, who was killed in a crash on April 23 while in pursuit of a speeding motorcycle, talk to legislators about the importance of passing legislation to increase penalties for individuals who flee police officers. Below is an update from The Post-Standard newspaper of Syracuse on the status of this process.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Fleeing a police officer would come with steeper penalties under a bill key lawmakers agreed to Tuesday night.
After another round of lobbying in Albany Tuesday morning by the widow and mother of state Trooper Craig Todeschini, Democratic Assembly and Republican Senate negotiators agreed to make fleeing a police officer a felony if the officer or another person is injured.
The bill would make it a class D felony, punishable by up to seven years in jail, if the incident results in serious injury or death, and a class E felony, punishable by up to four years in jail, if the incident results in a less serious injury, according to Assemblyman Jeff Brown, R-Manlius.
Fleeing at more than 25 mph if there is no injury would be a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, according to the bill, which was sponsored by Assemblywoman Joan Christensen, D-Syracuse.
Todeschini, 25, died in an April 23 crash on Route 91 in Pompey Hill as he pursued a speeding motorcyclist. His widow, Kristi, and mother, Cindy, have met with Gov. George Pataki, who has promised to sign a felony pursuit bill, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan. Fleeing an officer is only a violation under current law.