By Tony Romeo
HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – The Pennsylvania House has sent the Senate a bill that would prevent municipalities from punishing crime victims or people in need of emergency services who are involved in multiple calls for assistance.
The bill passed by the House, sponsored by Montgomery County Republican Todd Stephens, stems from Norristown’s effort have a woman evicted because she needed police assistance multiple times in a period of several months. Stephens says in the last instance, the woman was seriously injured by an ex-boyfriend.
“The woman had a shard of glass protruding from her neck… begged neighbors not to call 911… and ultimately she passed out. Fortunately, the neighbors did call 911 and she was eventually treated and provided the assistance she needed – but then faced eviction proceedings.”
The situation resulted in a lawsuit being filed by the ACLU. Stephens says his bill prevents municipalities from enacting ordinances that punish victims of crimes or emergencies while still giving them tools to pursue nuisance violators.