The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

22 January 2005

Menino's New Grandstanding Excuse

Boston Mayor Tom Menino surely must not have enough to do. Just about every day, it seems, he's looking for another excuse to create crazy new proposals for more government and spending. Whatever it takes to keep Menino in the headlines. Recently he started sending emails warning of snowstorms.

Today it's screaming over the bodyguard thug who threw a cup of piping hot Starbucks at a meter maid writing a ticket. Obviously it was outrageous, but is it necessary to create special laws to protect public servants as a result? If this was part of a pattern or trend toward violence, sure, but one jerk's actions do not constitute a civic crisis.

(Boston Herald) The meter maid attacked by a raging Hummer driver accused of dousing her with hot coffee was comforted by Mayor Thomas M. Menino yesterday as he called for additional penalties for anyone who attacks a public servant.
The Herald reported yesterday that meter maid Christi Noviello, 44, was briefly hospitalized Thursday after a man who had illegally parked in a loading zone outside a Starbucks in the Back Bay allegedly hurled a venti (large) black coffee in her face to protest a $55 ticket.
The driver, Francois Youhanna, 37, was charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon. He did not return calls to his West Roxbury home yesterday.
``It is outrageous,'' Menino said after meeting Noviello at police headquarters. ``When a public employee is doing a job and a person attacks them for no apparent reason - because of a parking ticket - there should be additional penalties. We need to send a message that we will not tolerate anyone taking their aggression out on a person doing their job.''
Menino said he plans to urge the City Council to make it mandatory that anyone who attacks a city employee doing their job will be slapped with harsher penalties. Massachusetts law currently states that anyone who assaults a public employee on duty faces a mandatory 90 days in jail.
The city wants to add community service, or even more jail time, to that sentence, officials said yesterday.


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