RENSSELAER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Rensselaer County Legislator Thomas Walsh Sr. said he will be asking state lawmakers to consider additions to state law to make it an offense to make an unprovoked attack on someone in military uniform.
Walsh is making the proposal following an alleged assault of an Army captain in uniform at a Wal-Mart in Albany. The captain was dressed in military fatigues and allegedly punched in the face and verbally assaulted. The attacker, 47-year-old Yiqiang Wu, of Schenectady, allegedly made derogatory comments about the military and the captain during the attack.
"This was an absolutely shocking attack and an incident that is disrespectful to the brave men and women fighting to protect our nation's freedom," said Walsh."There should be an additional charge for anyone who attacks military personnel while they are in uniform. We need to show our nation's military we are behind them and that we will not stand by if they are attacked while in uniform."
The chairman of the Legislature's Veterans Committee, Walsh said he is filing a resolution at the May meeting of the County Legislature to formally request the state to consider making it an offense to carry out an unprovoked attack on a person in military uniform.
Walsh suggested making an unprovoked attack on service personnel while in uniform at least a misdemeanor that can be added to charges of assault or harassment.
"The service of our nation's military is sacred and should be respected and protected. To see someone attacked physically while in uniform is disgusting to anyone who respects our military and their outstanding service to our country," said Walsh.
Walsh said he will also review the possibility of a county law to make it an offense to attack military personnel in uniform.
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