Can you get fined for laughing too loud? A man from Long Island is about to find out.
Robert Schiavelli, 42, has been given two tickets this year for laughing too loud. OK, so the tickets were actually for “disturbing the peace,” but, according to the NY Post, the charges stem from Schiavelli’s hearty laugh.
Apparently Schiavelli’s neighbors complained that they could hear his laughter from across their driveway.
Robert Schiavelli, 42, was recently slapped with two “absurd” summonses because his next-door neighbor complained that he could hear his hearty guffaws from across the driveway. Police gave Schiavelli a ticket on February 12 and 13 for disturbing the peace.
Each ticket carries a possible $250 fine or 15 days in jail. The tickets stated that Schiavelli was acting “in such a manner as to annoy, disturb, interfere with, obstruct, or be offensive to others.”
Schiavelli,who is considered disabled due to frequent seizures and neurological problems, said: “I didn’t know it was a crime to laugh out a window.”
Schiavelli claims that he was laughing so hard on February 12 and 13 because his neighbor was taunting him about his disability. Schiavelli said that he was trying to laugh off the insults.
Schiavelli’s lawyer Andrew Campanelli said: “It’s absurd. My client faces 30 days in jail for laughing. The last time I checked, it was not a crime to laugh — except in Rockville Centre,”
According to NBC, Schiavelli, who lives with his mother, has been feuding with his neighbor, Daniel O’Hanian, for the last year. Schiavelli’s mother claims that O’Hanian frequently taunts her son, calling him a retard, and that Schiavelli has learned to deal with his taunts by laughing.
O’Hanian’s wife Virginia, however, said that the police clearly made the right decision by issuing Schiavelli a ticket for laughing too loud.
Virginia said: “The police investigated and found there was cause. I think the police can answer all your questions. I think the police did what they thought was best.”
Schiavelli has already spent one day in court. The judge said that he wasn’t inclined to dismiss the charges while Campanelli said that there was no chance that his client was going to accept a plea.