Man Charged with Criminal Obstruction of Breathing-Updated!

April 5, 2011 Updated Apr 5, 2011 at 10:16 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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Man Charged with Criminal Obstruction of Breathing-Updated!

April 5, 2011 Updated Apr 5, 2011 at 10:16 AM EDT

Albany, NY (WKBW)
The latest regarding the strangulation case--Assemblyman Gabryszak responds:

“In 2008, I worked Family Court Judge Lisa Rodwin to create legislation that addressed establishing tougher penalties for the act of strangulation involving minors or domestic violence victims (A.5164). I was shocked to learn that the penalty for strangulation was equivalent to that of a motor vehicle violation; I recognized that such a crime needed stricter penalties. Over the weekend, a man from Jamestown committed an act of strangulation and will now face stricter penalties as a result of this legislation.

“The legislation amended the penal law by adding a new article that created the crimes of strangulation in the first degree, a class C violent felony offense; strangulation in the second degree, a class D violent felony offense; and criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, a class A misdemeanor.

“Over the past several years across New York State, there has been an alarming increase in the number of reported assaults involving strangulation. According to the Erie County Family Justice Center, about one-third of the cases handled at the center involve strangulation.i Recent studies show that strangulation represents 10 percent of violent deaths in the United States each year.

I have been a big proponent of creating legislation that strengthens the penalties for crimes of strangulation. These are serious crimes and victims need to know that the law will be on their side. I will continue to advocate for victims rights and stringent laws when it comes to domestic violence.”

Here's the story the Assemblyman is responding to:

Harmony, NY (WKBW)
On 4/2/11 at approximately 8:20pm, Chautauqua County Sheriff's patrol were called to a residence in the Town of Harmony for a disturbance. After an investigation, it was alleged that Gregory G Barlow was involved in a physical altercation with another individual at this residence. Barlow was located and arrested for Criminal obstruction of breathing along with Harassment in the 2nd degree. Barlow was arraigned in the Town of North Harmony Court. Bail was set in the amount of $500cash/$1,000 property.

Here's what the relatively new law, Criminal Obstruction of Breathing, means to NYS residents:

Chapter 405 of the Laws of 2010 added a new Article 121 to the Penal
Law related to strangulation and related offenses. Included in
Article 121 is the class A misdemeanor crime of Criminal Obstruction
of Breathing or Blood Circulation, as defined in Penal Law § 121.11.
The other two offenses included in Article 121 are Strangulation in the
Second Degree, as defined in Penal Law § 121.12, and Strangulation in the First Degree, as defined in Penal Law § 121.13, both of which are felony offenses and both of which specifically include as elements
the causing of physical injury and serious physical injury,
respectively. The misdemeanor charge does not include any requirement of physical injury. The justification for the creation of these new criminal charges was that strangulation "has been identified in recent years as one of the most lethal forms of domestic abuse. When perpetrators use strangulation to silence their victims, this is a form of power and control" and victims of such acts suffer
devastating psychological trauma.