As squatter bill advances, Charlotte’s infamous squatter released from jail

CHARLOTTE — A North Carolina bill creating a process to remove squatters from homes is advancing through the General Assembly. As state lawmakers consider the bill, one of Charlotte’s most infamous squatters is out of jail.

In 2015, Ninti El Bey, a self-described Moorish sovereign citizen, got inside a Piper Glen home and refused to leave. The home was foreclosed and owned by a bank.

In 2019, Davidson Mayor Rusty Knox said squatters took over a home belonging to his parents.

Rep. John Bradford says these two squatting incidents inspired him to take action.

“We do not have a clean, clear process for police,” he said.

Last week, ABC11 in Raleigh reported that long-term AirBnb guests put up a handwritten no-trespassing sign saying they were refusing to leave unless they were evicted through the courts.

In Georgia, our sister station WSB’s reports inspired lawmakers to stiffen penalties for squatters.

Rep. Bradford says that could impact North Carolina.

“I’m worried a lot of those folks are going to try and make it up here to Charlotte and kind of re-establish residency,” he said.

His bill moving through the legislature would give police departments 48 hours to remove someone after verifying they don’t have a legitimate claim to the property. That’s a timeline he says he worked on with CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings.

Without that timeline, it can take months for cases to go through the court system. Last year, Channel 9 reported on Ninti El Bey again. This time in an east Charlotte home.

“She’s gone around the neighborhood a few times with a blow horn, yelling at people to get off her indigenous property,” neighbor Mike Kowalski told Channel 9 in 2023.

El Bey was eventually arrested and spent 10 months behind bars before the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office dropped her charges late last month. According to the dismissal filing, the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office says she was incarcerated longer than any active sentence could reasonably be expected. The dismissal letter said El Bey is “competent but a sovereign citizen who refuses to participate in the process.”

El Bey no longer lives in the east Charlotte home.

VIDEO: Davidson mayor fights back against squatters

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