Legislation would make attack aboard train federal crime

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and John Hoeven of North Dakota marked the anniversary of the shooting of an Amtrak conductor in suburban Chicago with the introduction of legislation that would make such an attack a federal crime.

On Wednesday, the Democrat Duckworth and the Republican Hoeven introduced the Passenger Rail Crew Protection Parity Act that calls for those suspected of assaulting or intimidating rail crewmembers to be charged under federal law.

Currently, suspects in such attacks on airline crewmembers are prosecuted in federal court but suspects in attacks aboard trains are prosecuted in state court.

On May 16 of last year, Amtrak conductor Michael Case was shot in Naperville.

The suspect a retired federal law enforcement officer has been found mentally unfit to stand trial.