Proposed bill aims to cut down on trespassers and crime at apartment complexes

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MEMPHIS, Tenn.-- It could soon illegal to go to someone's apartment complex if you aren't invited.

State Senator Lee Harris and a non-profit are working to cut down on trespassing.

It's a problem we hear about often. Just this week someone stabbed a man at the Hillview Apartments in south Memphis. Police said they don't believe the suspect lived at the complex.

Under the new bill complexes would be treated more like homes. If you're caught loitering on the propert and don't leave. You could be charged.

Thousands of people in the city of Memphis call apartment complexes home. Sadly all too often we're seeing flashing lights and crime scene tape there.

It's a scene Arnitra Bruce's family is all too familiar with.

"Don't know if it ever came up before as far as the trespassing with the issues in the complexes but hopefully it works," said Bruce.

Bruce never wants another family to go through what hers has. WREG told you about her 10-year-old daughter Vynnitra Dobbs who was shot in the head last month. Incredibly, she's recovering, as she smiled for our cameras on Wednesday.

"Going to therapy with her, doctors appointments," explained Bruce.

Her family and owners of the north Memphis apartments where the shooting happened said the man who pulled the trigger didn't live there.

"A lot of the property right now in the complex is considered public so we're changing that. We're making property in a complex same as your home. It's private property and criminal trespass laws should apply," explained State Senator Lee Harris.

Harris worked on this bill with Safeways, a non-profit whose goal is to improve safety in apartment communities.

Harris said all too often he hears about crime at complexes and the perpetrator often doesn't live there. If the bill passes someone could potentially face a misdemeanor charge if they are found loitering in a communal area of a complex where they don't live and aren't invited.

Bruce said the bill is a step in the right direction because not all families will be as lucky as hers.

"She's my blessing. My blessing. She's still here with me my blessing," she said smiling at Vynnitra.

The bill has passed a senate committee. It now goes to the State Senate floor.

It's still being discussed in a house committee.

WREG will keep you posted with what happens next.


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