RIPTA Driver Charged

As reported in the August 24, 2014 edition of the Providence Journal, a RIPTA bus driver has been charged with vandalism and disorderly conduct. The driver was driving in Middletown when he observed a motorist talking on her cell phone. He left the bus and confronted the woman.

Pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws 11-44-1, vandalism is defined as every person who shall willfully and maliciously or mischievously injure or destroy or write upon, paint, or otherwise deface the property of another, or obstruct the use of the property of another, or obstruct another in the prosecution of his or her lawful business or pursuits, in any manner, the punishment of which is not specifically provided for by statute.

The penalties if convicted a fine exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) and/or be imprisonment not exceeding one year, and shall be liable to make restitution for the injury or damage caused. Every person convicted of a first offense under this section shall be required to perform up to one hundred (100) hours of public community restitution work, and for a second or subsequent conviction shall be required to perform up to two hundred (200) hours of public community restitution work. Provided, further that every person who shall willfully and maliciously or mischievously injure or destroy or write upon, paint or otherwise deface government property, or obstruct the use of that property, shall be punished in accordance with this statute.

Pursuant to R.I.G.L. 11-45-1, disorderly conduct means a person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:

(1) Engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior;

(2) In a public place or near a private residence that he or she has no right to occupy, disturbs another person by making loud and unreasonable noise which under the circumstances would disturb a person of average sensibilities;

(3) Directs at another person in a public place offensive words which are likely to provoke a violent reaction on the part of the average person so addressed;

(4) Alone or with others, obstructs a highway, street, sidewalk, railway, waterway, building entrance, elevator, aisle, stairway, or hallway to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access or any other place ordinarily used for the passage of persons, vehicles, or conveyances;

(5) Engages in conduct which obstructs or interferes physically with a lawful meeting, procession, or gathering;

(6) Enters upon the property of another and for a lascivious purpose looks into an occupied dwelling or other building on the property through a window or other opening; or

(7) Who without the knowledge or consent of the individual, looks for a lascivious purpose through a window, or any other opening into an area in which another would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, including, but not limited to, a restroom, locker room, shower, changing room, dressing room, bedroom, or any other such private area, not withstanding any property rights the individual may have in the location in which the private area is located.

The penalties if convicted include imprisonment for a term of not more than six (6) months, or fined not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or both. Both vandalism and disorderly conduct can be charged as domestic violence crimes. In those cases, additional penalties of a no-contact order and domestic violence counseling would be required.

If you or a family member has been charged with vandalism, disorderly conduct or other domestic violence crimes, please allow Attorney Robert H. Humphrey's reputation, experience and skill to successfully guide you through the legal process. Please contact Attorney Robert H. Humphrey, Esq., at 401-816-5862 or e-mail him at

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