By Chief Steven J. Wojnar
Dudley Police Department
The crime of assault and battery contains a number of specific offenses. These include assaulting a disabled person, a public official, a pregnant person, etc. In many cases, the age of the victim is a consideration. I was asked to provide information on assaulting a "senior citizen" and what penalties apply to these individuals who commit such an offense.
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 contains most of the "crimes against the person." Section 13 includes many assault and assault and battery crimes. Section 13A is the standard assault and battery section. It provides a maximum penalty for a conviction of up to two and one half years in jail or a fine of up to $1,000. The term "senior citizen" is not used, however; the term "Elders" is found in section 13K. An elder is anyone "sixty years of age or older." Anyone who is convicted of an assault and battery on an elder is subject to any combination of the following: Up to three years in state prison, or up to two and one half years in the house of correction, and/or up to $1,000 in fines. If "serious bodily injury" results from the attack, the maximum state prison term increases from three to five years.
These sections contain many other specific crimes. They provide other penalties for those individuals who are "caretakers" of either elders or disabled persons. Many provisions in the laws provide added protection to these certain groups. These crimes are considered serious and the penalties increase due to the vulnerabilities of certain individuals.
The Dudley Police Department DARE Program fundraiser is underway and will continue for the next few weeks. Calls will be made by All Pro Productions to local residents and businesses seeking donations to this worthwhile program. A basketball game against the New England Patriots All Stars is planned for the early spring as thanks to those who contribute. Sergeant Dean Poplawski has conducted the DARE program at the Dudley Middle School for many years and it is completely funded through this fundraiser and other donations. We thank everyone in advance for their generosity and encourage you to contact our department should you encounter any problems or have any questions.