New York State lawmakers want to make dousing water on police a felony amid attacks on NYPD

LOWER MANHATTAN (WABC) -- Two New York lawmakers have announced new legislation which would make actions such as dousing police officers with water a felony.

Assemblyman Mike LiPetri (R-Long Island) and Assemblyman Michael Reilly (R-Staten Island) made the announcement Wednesday morning at New York City Hall.

"New York State must send a message that this will not be tolerated and I am confident that this bill provides law enforcement the tools they need to properly react," said LiPetri.

They were joined by NYPD Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch and police union representatives from NYC and Long Island.

"Common sense says you don't dump a bucket of anything on a police officer responding to an emergency call," Lynch said.

WATCH: NY lawmakers announce water attack legislation

The new legislation would make it a Class E felony to throw or spray water, or any other substance, against an on-duty police or peace officer. Violations would be punishable by up to one to four years in prison.

The proposal needs approval from the Assembly, the Senate and the governor before it becomes law.

"Hopefully my colleagues in Albany will support this legislation from both sides of the aisle. Because if that's what they care about, the safety of our law enforcement, they will," Reilly said.

Both Republican lawmakers blamed Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio for fostering a culture in which such attacks could happen.

Last week, three men were arrested in connection with incidents of on-duty NYPD officers being drenched with water.

Police Commissioner James O'Neill said investigators made arrests in several incidents, but he didn't exactly throw his support behind the lawmakers' proposal.

"Disrespecting police officers is not something new. It's never acceptable. It's never been acceptable. But cops aren't victims. We are here to prevent people from becoming victims," O'Neill said.

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