US man faces jail for laughing too loud

Last Updated: Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 14:37

New York: A laugh riot may land you in jail!

A US man is facing 30 days in jail or USD 500 fine for laughing too loud in his own home.

Forty-two-year old Robert Schiavelli of Rockville Centre, New York received the tickets for "disturbing the peace" on consecutive days in February after police responded to a neighbour`s complaints that his laughter could be heard across the street.

Schiavelli, who suffers from neurological problems and seizures, was recently slapped with two "absurd" summonses after his next-door neighbour complained, `New York Post` reported.

"I did not know it was a crime to laugh out a window," said Schiavelli.

Schiavelli was chortling because he says his neighbour often taunts him due to his disability - and his best defence is to laugh him off.

However, a detective responded to the Rockville Centre neighbour`s complaints and wrote up two tickets for "disturbing the peace" at 6 pm on February 12 and 13.

Each summons carried a USD 250 fine or 15 days in jail.

"It`s absurd. My client faces 30 days in jail for laughing," Schiavelli`s lawyer Andrew Campanelli said.

Schiavelli, who lives with his mother, was charged with acting "in such a manner as to annoy, disturb, interfere with, obstruct, or be offensive to others".

"The last time I checked, it was not a crime to laugh - except in Rockville Centre," Campanelli said.

At Schiavelli`s arraignment yesterday, local Judge William Croutier said he "was not so inclined" to dismiss the charges.

When the judge asked why police were called, Campanelli said, "My client is a bit of a gentle giant. The way he responds (to his neighbour) is to laugh."

"I will never let him take a plea on this," a fuming Campanelli added.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 14:37

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