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.