Proposed Pa. bill will protect those with disabilities

WEST CHESTER, Pa. (WPVI) -- There is a push to strengthen Pennsylvania's hate crime laws to protect people with disabilities.

State Senator Tom Killion, State Representative Becky Corbin and Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced Senate bill 7-49 on Thursday.

It's an amendment to Pennsylvania hate crime statute of ethnic intimidation to include people with physical and mental disabilities.

The announcement follows two recent attacks. One happened in West Chester, where a man with cerebral palsy was mocked and then punched in the face outside a 7-eleven. The other attack occurred in the Germantown section of Philadelphia where four young men attacked a mentally challenged man on a sidewalk.

"When I see a bully attacking someone with mental or physical disabilities, attacking them and hurting them, I'd like to reach out and throttle that criminal myself," said D.A. Tom Hogan. "But I can't do that, I'm the district attorney. And along with law enforcement we stand for the rule of law."

Hogan said the change in law would give police and prosecutors the tool they need to appropriately punish predators.

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