Friday, 15 March 2013

No Laughing Matter?

US man facing jail for laughing too loudly

A man from Long Island, New York, is facing up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine after a neighbour complained to police he was laughing too loudly.

Police issued Robert Schiavelli, 41, two tickets for disturbing the peace for laughing out the window of his home in Rockville Centre on Long Island at about 6pm on Feb. 12 and Feb. 13, his lawyer said.
Mr Schiavelli said the neighbour regularly mocks his disability, and the best response to those taunts is laughter.
"He just ridicules me all the time and the only thing I can come up with is laughing," Mr Schiavelli said in a telephone interview.
His lawyer, Andrew Campanelli, said his client has frequent seizures as a result of neurological impairments but denied his laugh is loud or boisterous.
"He's like a big teddy bear, he's got a low laugh," Mr Campanelli said
Mr Schiavelli lives with his mother, Suzanne Schiavelli, who said in an interview on Wednesday that he had a "fairly loud" laugh.
"I think it's infectious. It's cute," she said. "When my husband died, we said to ourselves, 'We're going to make sure to laugh every day and make the most of life.'"
Daniel O'Hanion, the neighbour who made the complaint, could not be reached for comment.
Mr O'Hanion and Mr Schiavelli live in adjacent private homes about 20 feet apart, separated by two driveways.
The Rockville Centre Police Department said they issued the summonses after receiving complaints about an ongoing pattern of noisemaking.
"On two occasions, police actually observed this individual creating a disturbance directed at neighbours and in violation of local law," police said in a statement.

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