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Lawmaker Wants Mandatory Jail Time For Videotape Assaults [AUDIO]

Kevin McArdle, Townsquare Media

David Ivins,a 50-year-old homeless man doesn’t remember what day he was attacked in Wall Township, but police say judging by a YouTube time stamp, it was more than a week ago. 20-year-old Taylor Giresi, of Lake Como, is charged with aggravated assault, conspiracy to commit assault, robbery and theft.

He was jailed Tuesday on bail of $111,000.

Police say the 17-year-old cameraman, whose name has not been released, will be charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and theft. He’s already charged with conspiracy and has been released to the custody of his parents.

In the YouTube video, a young man tells the camera, “About to go beat up this bum.” Then it shows him punching and kicking Ivins in the face, bloodying his nose, before telling him, “Merry Christmas.” The cameraman, heard but not seen in the video, laughs along with the attacker.

Assembly Republican Whip Dave Rible, Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini and Assembly Republican Conference Leader Jon Bramnick are pledging to sponsor legislation to increase penalties and mandate jail time for videotaping an assault.

“The action taken by these two boys is completely outrageous and calls for serious jail time,” says Rible. “There needs to be severe repercussions put into place to ensure that no one else attempts to reenact this inexcusable attack on an innocent person.”

The measure has not yet been drafted and Rible says he and his co-sponsors haven’t determined the length of the mandatory jail time.

Angelini says, “It is absolutely appalling that two young men found it amusing to stalk and attack a homeless man. The fact that the young men posted the attack on the Internet as if it were entertainment is frightening and we must send a clear message that this behavior will not be tolerated in our state.”

Under the proposed legislation, videotaping and distributing the recording of an assault will result in an automatic second degree aggravated assault charge. A person convicted of a second degree aggravated assault charge is subject to 5-10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.

Bramnick says, “A perpetrator videotaping a crime and using the video to re-live the event is a horrendous act and deserves a more severe penalty.”

Tuesday, a Facebook page was set up to connect those who want to help Ivins, and police are coordinating with a nonprofit group to accept donations.

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