Fallen NYPD Officer Alain Shaberger was honored by the state senate on Tuesday at a reading of a new resolution that would toughen penalties imposed on repeat domestic abusers.
Paul and May Schaberger, the parents of Officer Schaberger, were present for the reading of the bill, which is named for their son.
On March 13, 2011, Schaberger, 42, responded to a domestic violence call at St. Marks Place in Boerum Hall. While attempting to handcuff career criminal George Villanueva, also 42, the 10-year NYPD veteran was allegedly pushed down the stairs and over a railing, .
"This individual who was involved in my son's death had multiple arrests and several convictions as well and was still out on the street," Paul Schaberger was quoted at the reading by NY1. "And there are hundreds of these, probably thousands of these in a given year in New York City that could result in a death like it did with my son."
Senator Daniel Squadron is sponsoring the bill with the support of Senator Martin Golden and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal. The legislation would create a felony charge of "aggravated domestic violence" for abusers who commit at least two offenses within a five year period. Villanueva, who has been charged in the death of Officer Shaberger, had a 12-year history of repeated offenses. But they were all considered misdemeanors.
"Officer Schaberger's life was taken far too early, by a criminal who shouldn't have been out on the streets in the first place," Senator Squadron stated in a press release. "I am proud to honor a true hero like Officer Schaberger, who put public service before all else. Now, our work must continue to honor Officer Schaberger's legacy and give law enforcement the tools to protect all who are impacted by domestic violence and its terrible ripple effects."
Not least of which is grief for innocent family members of victims. "The thing is, anybody can go through this terrible loss. They can lose a child, which is nothing that I can explain, but the pain is incredible," said Paul Schaberger on Tuesday.
The bill was referred to the Senate Codes Committee and awaits a hearing.