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Good Samaritan bill filed for upcoming Florida legislative session

Bill sponsor John Cortes hopes the bill teaches
Posted at 7:53 PM, Feb 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-28 19:53:33-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A bill filed for the upcoming Florida legislative session would make it a crime to not help someone who is seriously injured during an emergency.

The Good Samaritan measure could lead to a second-degree misdemeanor and up to $500 fine, for failing to provide "reasonable assistance", like calling law enforcement or medical personnel.

The measure was crafted in response to a group of teens in Cocoa, Florida, who in 2017, stood on the side of a pond, commenting and mocking while filming as a 31-year-old disabled man drowned.

Bill sponsor John Cortes hopes the bill teaches people to treat one another with more respect.

"It's common sense. Anything you see, just call it in. When you call in a crime, you can remain anonymous. It's the same thing here. It doesn't cost anything to use a cell phone, and we all have cell phones now," said Cortes.

The measure has not yet been heard by any House or Senate committee, ahead of the 2019 legislative session that starts on Tuesday.