Local legislator proposes new law to protect uniformed military personnel

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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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