ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Nassau County man does not think it is funny at all that he was ticketed for laughing in his own home.
But as CBS 2’s John Slattery reported, the circumstances are more complicated than they may appear.
Robert Schiavelli, 41, of Rockville Centre, is a boisterous individual who surprisingly got not one summons, but two, for laughing.
The problem is that he was laughing at his next-door neighbor, whom Schiavelli said taunts him and calls him names.
“(The neighbor) started mocking me – ‘retard’ this; mocking dance around,” he said.
Schiavelli, who suffered from seizures as a child and has neurological impairments, said the neighbor, Daniel O’Hanian, often taunts him due to his disability. He learned to deal with it by laughing him off.
Most recently, Schiavelli laughed out an upstairs window, where he said his neighbor had been staring at him. As a result, police responded to his home on Feb. 12 and Feb. 13 after the neighbor complained of hearing his laugh across the driveway.
Schiavelli ended up with two summonses for disturbing the peace: “Acting in such a manner as to annoy, disturb, interfere with, obstruct, or be offensive to others.”
“I think it’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of in my life,” Schiavelli said.
And his mother, with whom he lives, agrees.
“I really don’t think laughing constitutes disturbing the peace,” said Suzanne Schiavelli.
Robert Schiavelli was a special education student who has a high school diploma. He said he loves looking out the window.
At his arraignment Tuesday, a judge declined to dismiss the charges.
As it stands now, Schiavelli faces up to 30 days in jail and $500 in fines.
Attorney Andrew Campanelli said he is filing a motion to have the tickets, which he calls “laughable,” dismissed on the grounds that Rockville Centre’s ordinance about disturbing the peace is “unconstitutionally vague.”
O’Hanian’s wife defended the summonses and told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera that police investigated the matter and found cause to issue the tickets.
Do you think the tickets Schiavelli got are fair? Leave your comments below…
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