H. B. 4509
(By Delegate Rodighiero)
[Introduced February 13, 2012; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary then Finance.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §61-2-17, relating to crimes against the person; creating a misdemeanor offense for harassment of participants of neighborhood crime watch programs; definitions; and criminal penalties.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §61-2-17, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2. CRIMES AGAINST THE PERSON.
§61-2-17. Harassment of participants of neighborhood crime watch program prohibited; penalty; and definitions.
(a) Any person, who willfully harasses, threatens or intimidates an identifiable member of a neighborhood crime watch program while that member is engaged in, or traveling to or from, an organized neighborhood crime watch program activity or a member who is participating in an ongoing criminal investigation as designated by a law-enforcement officer, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $500 and be required to perform thirty days of community service for a first offense. Upon conviction for a second or any subsequent such offense the person shall be fined not more than $1,000 and confined in jail for a period of thirty days.
(b) As used in this section, the term:
(1) “Harass” means, to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person or group of persons which causes substantial emotional distress in that person or persons.
(2) “Organized neighborhood crime watch program activity” means any prearranged event, meeting or other scheduled activity, or neighborhood patrol, conducted by or at the direction of a neighborhood crime watch program, the program’s authorized designee or the county sheriff or municipal police department.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create a misdemeanor offense for harassment of participants of neighborhood crime watch programs.
§61-2-17 is new; therefore, it has been completely underscored.