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Laughing Too Loud Lands Man With Special Needs In Court

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A New York man learned to laugh as a way to cope with his neighbor’s taunts about his disability, but now his comic relief has him in legal trouble.

Robert Schiavelli, 42, has neurological impairments and often experiences seizures. His mother says that their next-door neighbor has long tormented Schiavelli about his disability, frequently calling him “a retard.” Over the years, Schiavelli learned to laugh off the ridicule.

But now Schiavelli is facing two summonses for “disturbing the peace” after his neighbor called in police alleging that the man’s laughter was too loud. Each ticket could mean a $250 fine or 15 days behind bars.

“I didn’t know it was a crime to laugh out a window,” the New York Post reports Schiavelli said at an arraignment this week in the case. “What else are you supposed to do when someone calls you a retard?” To read more click here.

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Comments (4 Responses)

  1. Amy Collins says:

    This is absolutely horrible! What a travesty and misuse of our justice system. Shame on the police and judge for giving any credence to that bully’s behavior! There is no way Mr. Schiavelli should be fined or jailed for disturbing the peace because he finally learned to laugh at his bullying neighbor. It is Mr. O’Hanian who should be jailed for his verbally abusive bullying. No excuse for his behavior.

  2. NICOLE LEBLANC says:

    This society is so screweed up! We people who have common sense! The person saying the R word should be given jail time and a 500 dollar fine! Then we would not have this problem

  3. VMGillen says:

    The Village of Rockville Center has a problem, eh? Here’s the ordinance:

    § 232-1. Loud, unnecessary or disturbing noises prohibited.
    It shall be unlawful for any person to make, continue or cause to be made or continued any loud, unnecessary or unusual noise or any noise which annoys, disturbs or injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of others. The following restrictions are specific enactments to curb and prevent disturbing and unnecessary noises in violation of this chapter, but said enumeration shall not be deemed to be exclusive.

    It goes on to list aircraft, airconditioners… nothing about people; no specific dcbl level is cited. I’m sure the attorney is going to have a romp with this one. If Rockville Ctr has ever responded to a noise complaint and NOT issued a ticket they have a lot of explaining to do.

    Unfortunately, we can’t do much about idiots. We can, however, shape the official response to idiocy.

  4. CSMITH says:

    In response to the “The Village of Rockville Center has a problem, eh?” YOu made a very good point. I however would go further in the interpretation of the law (§ 232-1. Loud, unnecessary or disturbing noises prohibited.). Where It specifically states “It shall be unlawful for any person to make, continue or cause to be made or continued any loud, unnecessary or unusual noise or any noise which annoys, disturbs or injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of others.” is very ambiguous. It can be interpreted to mean that the original bullying “CAUSED” the laughter or Noise to be made and continued to be made. So does that mean that the the fault and citation should lie with those that caused Mr. Schiavelli initially? hum.

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