A Man Allegedly Harassed His Son-In-Law By Pretending To Be The Tasmanian Devil, Cops Got Involved [Opinion]

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A New York man allegedly used his bushy toupee to mimic the Tasmanian Devil and terrorize his son-in-law, to the point that restraining orders were filed and the cops got involved, the New York Post is reporting.

In what might possibly be the dumbest “crime” this writer has ever written about, Yunes Doleh, 62, allegedly terrorized his son-in-law, Mazen Dayem, by taking off his bushy and curly hairpiece, and waving it around while “grimacing, snarling, gurning and gesticulating.”

Wait, what?

OK, so phobias are real, and some people genuinely have debilitating fears that can cause them legitimate and paralyzing anxiety. And while your father-in-law may annoy you, you can probably say that he’s never taken off his toupee and imitated a cartoon character in order to scare you. Mazen Dayem can’t say the same. For Dayem, he says he’s been terrified of the Warner Bros. cartoon for as long as he can remember. And Dayem’s attorney, Robert Garson, says that Dayem has used that phobia to terrorize and annoy the younger man since at least 2013.

“Mazen is very scared of this guy who looks like he has a rabid badger on his head. It troubles him greatly.”

Things came to a head, so to speak, in November — at a funeral, of all places.

There, says Dayem, his father-in-law once again made him the butt of his joke.

“He removed his wig, made hand gestures. It’s just a very large fear of mine, his damn wig. Him and his hair reminds me of the Tasmanian Devil hair. I truly and genuinely have a large fear of wigs now. It’s a genuine fear. I have nightmares.”

You’re probably thinking, “Is this really a matter for the police?” And you’d be right to think that. However, the two men have a violent history going back years, including a September incident where the two men got into it at a Staten Island restaurant. Punches were allegedly thrown, an SUV was allegedly kicked, and lawsuits and restraining orders were filed. That’s why, legally anyway, Doleh would have been forbidden from having contact with Dayem, and why Dayem’s alleged actions at the funeral would be a crime: for violating the restraining order.

Doleh’s attorney, Matthew Santamauro, calls the whole thing a “family dispute.”

“I believe at the end of the day, the criminal cases will be dismissed and my client [will be shown to have done] nothing wrong.”

In case you were wondering, real Tasmanian devils bear little resemblance to their Loony Tunes counterpart, according to the Telegraph. They’re smaller than you’d expect, weighing about 30 pounds; they don’t stand on their hind legs; and they most certainly don’t spin around in circles when aggravated. They do, however, have a terrifying and otherworldly growl that got them their name.

They’re also endangered: Between loss of habitat, road accidents, and a devastating (and contagious) cancer, their numbers are in sharp decline, according to ABC News Australia.