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N.Y. Detective Cites Man for Laughing Too Loudly

March 07, 2013  | 

Screenshot via WPIX.
Screenshot via WPIX.

Busting a gut became a criminal matter in Long Island, when Rockville Center (N.Y.) Police issued two summonses to a local man for laughing too loudly at his home.

Robert Schiavelli, 42, told the New York Post he received two "absurd" summonses after his next-door neighbor complained about his hearty guffaws. Schiavelli is considered disabled because he has frequent seizures and suffers from neurological impairments. He said his neighbor often taunts him due to his disability.

A detective wrote up two tickets for "disturbing the peace" on Feb. 12 and 13. Each summons carried a $250 fine or 15 days in jail.

Hear Schiavelli's cackle in a WPIX report.

Comments (7)

Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

Really? @ 3/8/2013 6:21 AM

You have GOT to be kidding me! The cop that issued the ticket should be suspended without pay. The entire department should be investigated for STUPIDITY!! What a waste of taxpayer money!

Jim B. @ 3/8/2013 7:43 AM

Wow "Really?", way to jump right in with a snap judgement and indict not only an individual officer but an entire department.

The guy wasn't cited for "laughing" he was cited for disturbing the peace, i.e. making so much noise that he was a nuisance to his neighbors. How he was making that noise is irrelevant, doesn't matter if it was laughing or yelling or playing the radio too loud. Noise is noise and at some point it becomes unreasonable. The fact that he was "in his own home" as the news story seemed to make such an issue of is also irrelevant. You are allowed to do pretty much whatever you want in your home as long as it doesn't impact others outside of your home. We've all been effected by neighbors having loud parties, barking dogs, etc.

You jump to the conclusion that this is stupidity and frivolous. Well ask yourself a couple of things. This man received not one but two citations for this. Even if they were both by the same officer, do you think he just showed up and wrote the tickets based on the neighbors say so? Don't you think maybe he investigated just a little bit? Maybe he heard the volume, duration and intensity of the noise to determine if it was, in fact, disturbing the peace before he wrote the tickets? I'm assuming you are not a cop but whether you are or not, how about giving a little credit to the guy who was on scene. I can't say if I would have done the same thing or not, but I wasn't there so I'm not going to question the officer who was.

John @ 3/8/2013 2:31 PM

Jim B., maybe you should learn to read before you chastise Really?

1.) Mr Schiavelli is considered disabled because he has frequent seizures and suffers from neurological impairments. He probably can't control his laughing.

2.) Schiavelli claims his neighbor often taunts him due to his disability. I assume the neighbor is very biased.

desertfuzz @ 3/8/2013 3:58 PM

@John: 1) disabled or not, a disturbance is a disturbance. 2) If the PR is biased or not it doesn't matter, if the officer observed a violation the ticket is valid as long as the officer has the legal right to be where he is when the violation is observed. Many neighbor disputes are biased, that does not mean that enforcement action is not taken when there is a violation of law. Even you assume that Schiavelli can't control his laughing, but that is not made clear in the story. Here is a little LE101: With this being a misdemeanor enforcement action comes down to a matter of discretion if the officer issues a cite, some discretion is taken away when you have a complaintant other than the state that wants enforcement action taken. Some people act like just because a citation is issued it's a closed case, last time I checked the citation was an invitation to court. In this case both parties will be able to voice their concerns and the judge will rule on it.

So please explain why you support the officer being suspended if he did not violate a standing order or law, and why you support the entire department being investigated for "stupidity" if there is a case of poor discretion with one officer.

[email protected] @ 3/8/2013 7:32 PM

desertfuzz: Thar you go, bring logic to a perfectly unfounded rant. :-)

OldFart49er @ 3/11/2013 12:47 AM

What the hell is this world coming to? The Long Island Police don't have any REAL criminals to chase?? Is the cop whi cited Robert related or 'a friend' of the neighbor? @John: thsi is a FREE country and a person whether they are mentally disturbed or even sane, they have the right to laugh in their own home. Sounds like the neighbor was not able to 'get Robert's goat' calling him a retard, staring at his bedroom window and antagonizing him. Seems like the neighbor has his nose where the sun don't shine. Any cop who would give a person a citation for laughing out loud in his own home, whether he stood outside and witnessed it or jusy took the neibors word for it, shows the para-military state that the Police are coming to. ACHTCHUNG!! PAPERS PLEASE!!! i live in a college community and in fact, I have the band living right next door to me and across the street. They usually practice most of the day and in the warm eveningm they sit on the front porchm drinking a few beers and play some music. I find it very entertaining. It's A Free Show! Seems a few people need to pull their noses outta their arses and smell the roses, including the High and Mighty rich (or those who think they are).

Ima Leprechaun @ 3/14/2013 6:27 PM

Take a pill people. This will all be worked out in court.

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