HARRISBURG – In response to an incident on the Hoodlebug Trail this summer, Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-Indiana) today announced that he has introduced legislation that would charge any individual who intentionally causes bodily injury to a person with a physical or intellectual disability with aggravated assault, a felony of the second degree. Currently, the law dictates that “serious bodily injury” is necessary for charges to be elevated beyond misdemeanor simple assault.
The bill would be known as Cody’s Law, in honor of Cody Overdorff. Overdorff, who lives with William’s Syndrome, was lured and attacked by four individuals on Aug. 20 on the Hoodlebug Trail near Floodway Park.
“The need for this legislation was made abundantly clear after Cody Overdorff, a young man with physical and intellectual disabilities, was ruthlessly lured and beaten by a group of four people without provocation. While those responsible were arrested, they were only charged with misdemeanors due to the determined lack of serious bodily injury,” said Struzzi. “I believe individuals who target vulnerable and helpless victims pose a significant threat to our society and should be subject to harsher penalties under the law. I thank District Attorney Pat Dougherty for his assistance in developing this incredibly important piece of legislation.”
The bill was formally filed as House Bill 2056.
Representative Jim Struzzi
62nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Kevin DiGuiseppe
717.260.6419 (office), 610.937.4679 (cell)