Queens Assemblyman Wants Stiffer Penalties For Vandalism Against Politicians

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — A bike battle has a Queens lawmaker calling for a crackdown on vandals. He says he was targeted in a crime that was caught on camera, and now he wants tougher penalties.

New York State Assemblyman Michael DenDekker says when the car of an elected official is vandalized, the penalty should be beefed up. He was angered over what was done to his car ten days ago, which has since been repaired.

DenDekker’s vehicle was parked outside his Jackson Heights home, and he has video to show what actually happened.

The tape appears to show a bicyclist riding up to the assemblyman’s vehicle, stopping and then breaking off a side mirror before riding away.

“This was a deliberate attempt to damage the vehicle. It was done intentionally, not by accident,” DenDekker told reporters, including CBS 2’s John Slattery.

DenDekker, whose car has assembly plates, believes he was specifically targeted because of legislation he proposed about bicycles. He proposed and then withdrew a controversial bill that would have meant a $25 registration fee on bicycles and adding a license plate on the back.

“I believe they might not have agreed with my position and wanted to retaliate against me,” he said.

Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras says her car has been vandalized three times, possibly for her political positions. She supports DenDekker’s call to increase the penalties from a misdemeanor to a class E felony for criminal mischief on the property of an elected official.

The penalty would increase from a possible one year prison sentence, to as much as four years behind bars.

Some constituents agree with the idea, while other believe the penalties should be the same across the board.

In the meantime, police are hoping to identify the bicyclist in the security video.

More from John Slattery
  • Outspoken416

    Many of you are ignorant and half the things you say dont make sense. Here’s a question for you why are the penalties for assaulting a police officer harsher than assaulting any Joe Schmoe? When half the police officers get away with ANYTHING they want. And look at weiner- he is STILL being penalized for the things he has done. Mr. DenDekker was doing his job- he got the idea for the law from many of his constituents- After constant complaining he went ahead and put in a bill FOR his constiuents more then I can say about any of the politicans up there who do things based on their own personal beliefs or political “hook ups” rather than FOR their constiuents. He did something FOR the people- and he was retaliated against. So, what in this is wrong?-

  • Linda

    We the American taxpayer want tougher penalties against corrupt politicians, like 1 strike and out. Why are these crooked politicians still in office??? Why hasn’t Charlie Rangel been ousted??? Why are these people allowed to do anything they want to and keep right on keeping on??? Makes no sense.

  • M.A.D


  • Cos

    I couldn’t agree more with all posts here. We’d be making ‘special’ laws for politicians, or for those who have positions of authority. By that same token of logic, the laws should be ‘beefed’ up for politicians (or, people in positions of authority) when they occur. The segmentation of ‘ciizens’ and ‘authoritative’ positions has been underway for years. Now, the desire is to follow through with that segmentation with tougher penalties when the victim works for the State or Federal Government… The days ahead grow more and more interesting…

    • Outspoken416

      When it is DIRECTLY done to them as a result of them doing their job- Why are their harsher penalties against assaulting a police officer? Why is it okay for one and not for the other.

  • Bob

    This guy’s an idiot.

  • Goblin

    Welcome to NY Mr.Dekker.

  • Sam the Ham

    Oh what about us peons who don’t make as much money as you crooked politicians? Damage to our cars don’t matter? I hope the next time they set your car on fire, you selfish imp.

    • Outspoken416

      Actually why don’t you look online at how much they get paid- An elected official’s salary is open to the public- They get paid less than many average people in NY. So when someone directly ruins their property as a result of them doing their job that shouldn’t matter? You can go to work everyday and come home not to think twice about how your job can cause damage to your personal life (ie. your car getting damaged) some people don’t have that luxury. It’s not asking for any special privelages- After all their are harsher punishments when you do something to a police officer- so I ask you- why is that okay?.. Seems like your the selfish one here.

  • flea

    If that’s the case, when a politician has (weiner) sex over the internet, penalties should be beefed up.

    • Bob Fowler

      It seems to me that this is a precursor to a law that will make ‘outing’ an elected official a felony under the same provision. Was the cyclist wrong for breaking the mirror? Absolutely. Should they be prosecuted according to the law of the land? Yes again. Should we create special laws for the aristocrats? Maybe not so much.

      Don’t you think that Anthony would have wanted to hide his Weiner behind that kind of law? If we have an aristocracy, we might need a guillotine and a small revolution too.

    • phartz

      I agree completely. Just as politicians become special targets for crimes such as the one DenDekker has experienced, common citizens so frequently see politicians (or others in power such as police) abusing their power to enjoy simple benefits such as running the siren on the car to get through traffic, relations with others that get them out of trouble, etc… I love it– punishing them worse than the average citizen for abusing their position is equivalent to protecting them FROM the average citizen MORE than the average citizen already is. Boy, if they’re going to punish us like that, I guess a revolution is out of the question!

      • Outspoken416

        I agree completely about police officers abusing their privaleges- Like I have said many times on this comment section- yet their are harsher punishments if something is done to a police officer!…

    • kornhole


    • Outspoken416

      Their are- Havent you been watching the news? Tell me if you get caught having sex over the internet is your face on every news channel or news paper? Is your personal life expolited to the public? And one more thing.. have you picked up a paper lately? He’s facing federal charges!

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