§707-712.7 Assault against an emergency worker. (1) A person commits the offense of assault against an emergency worker if the person, during an emergency period proclaimed by the governor or mayor pursuant to chapter 127A, within the area covered by the emergency or disaster:
(a) Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes serious or substantial bodily injury to an emergency worker; or
(b) Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to an emergency worker with a dangerous instrument.
(2) Assault against an emergency worker is a class B felony. [L 2006, c 116, §2; am L 2014, c 111, §16]
COMMENTARY ON §707-712.7
Act 116, Session Laws 2006, added this section, which classifies assault on an emergency worker, causing substantial bodily injury or with a dangerous weapon, as a class B felony. Act 116 penalized the commission of certain crimes during a time of a civil defense emergency proclaimed by the governor or during a period of disaster relief. The legislature found that Hurricanes Katrina and Rita created situations that highlighted the prevalence of opportunistic crimes that can occur during these times. When resources are needed to restore law and order, emergency response aid to victims may be hampered or delayed, leaving victims at an increased risk of bodily injury or death. Stronger measures to control law and order may deter looting and other crimes. House Standing Committee Report No. 757-06, Senate Standing Committee Report No. 3302, Conference Committee Report No. 64-06.
Act 111, Session Laws 2014, which amended this section, updated and recodified Hawaii's emergency management laws to conform with nationwide emergency management practices by, among other things, establishing a Hawaii emergency management agency in the state department of defense with the functions and authority currently held by the state civil defense agency; establishing the power and authority of the director of Hawaii emergency management, who will be the adjutant general, and providing the director with the functions and authority currently held by the director of civil defense; establishing county emergency management agencies, each to be under the respective county mayor's direction, with the functions and authority currently held by the local organizations for civil defense; and repealing the chapters on disaster relief [chapter 127] and the civil defense [and] emergency act [chapter 128], which were determined to be obsolete with the creation of the Hawaii emergency management agency. Conference Committee Report No. 129-14.