Senate approves tougher penalties for attacking RI delivery drivers

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Senate has approved legislation that would create stiff penalties for attacking a delivery person.

The bill introduced by Senate President Dominick Ruggerio would make assault and battery on delivery drivers a felony that carries a maximum three-year prison sentence. If the assault involves a dangerous weapon, the mandated sentence would increase to between five and 20 years in prison.

“We’ve seen more and more assaults on delivery people,” Ruggerio, D-North Providence, said. “With online ordering becoming exponentially more popular, it’s time to offer more protection as a deterrent to this crime.”

Providence City Councilman David Salvatore previously submitted a resolution to the council asking for tougher penalties in response to several reported incidents in the city.

“Delivery drivers are often targeted for assault because they’re known to have cash on hand, which leaves them especially vulnerable,” Salvatore said. “No employee should face those kinds of risks.”

Ruggerio’s bill now moves to the House for consideration.