New Yorker faces jail for laughing too loud in his own home


New York police have summoned a 42-year-old man whose neighbors complained that he was laughing too loud in his apartment. The Long Island resident will now have to appear in court to defend his hearty chuckles, or else face up to 30 days in jail.

Robert Schiavelli, who lives with his mother in a Long Island apartment, has received two summonses because of noise complaints from his neighbor, who claimed he could hear the man laughing from across the driveway.


“I didn’t know it was a crime to laugh out a window,” Schiavelli told the New York Post. The 42-year-old man is mentally disabled and suffers from a number of neurological disorders and seizures. Schiavelli and his mother claim that the neighbor frequently taunted him about his disability, prompting the man to laugh off the insults as a defense mechanism.


“What else are you supposed to do when someone calls you a retard?” the man’s mother told the tabloid.


“It’s absurd,” lawyer Andrew Campanelli said. “My client faces 30 days in jail for laughing.”


Each summons of “disturbing the peace” carries a maximum penalty of 15 days in jail or a $250 fine – and local Judge William Croutier has said that he is “not so inclined” to dismiss the charges.


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