October 9, 2020
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Assemblyman Ron Dancer has introduced legislation to deter people from repeating the vile act of spitting into a police officer’s food or drink.
In July, the Park Ridge Police Department received an anonymous tip that Kevin Trejo, a Starbucks employee, was spitting into the coffee of officers who visited the establishment. He was quickly arrested and later fired by the coffee chain.
Starbucks offered an apology, but Dancer feels more needs to be done.
“An apology is nice, but this should never happen in the first place,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “Like everyone else, police officers have the right to expect fair and equal treatment and to be served safe food and drinks. Spitting in their drink is a disgusting and disrespectful act that could lead to an officer falling ill.”
Dancer’s bill (A4765) would clarify that spitting on the food or into the drink of a law enforcement officer constitutes third-degree aggravated assault and would carry a sentence of three to five years with a mandatory fine of $15,000.
The bill would also require employers to suspend the employee if he is charged, and fire him if convicted.
“If you commit a despicable act against an officer, like spitting in their drink, you should be arrested and, if convicted, be fired,” stated Dancer. “You are not fighting for social justice when you do something like this. You are just being cruel. There is nothing heroic about spitting into an officer’s drink.”