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New York man charged for laughing too loudly

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A New York man was slapped with two summonses on "disturbing the peace" for laughing too loudly.

A judge declined to dismiss charges against Robert Schiavelli of Long Island for acting "in such a manner as to annoy, disturb, interfere with, obstruct, or be offensive to others."

Police responded to the 42-year-old's home on Feb. 12 and Feb. 13 after receiving complaints from a neighbor that his laughing could be heard across the driveway, Fox News reports.

"I didn't know it was a crime to laugh out a window," said Mr. Schiavelli, who is considered disabled because he has frequent seizures. He said he laughs at his neighbor, who often taunts him for his disability. He said his best defense is to laugh it off.

"What else are you supposed to do when someone calls you a retard?" asked Mr. Schiavelli, who graduated from high school as a special-education student.

Each summons carries a $250 fine or 15 days in jail, The New York Post reports.

"It's absurd," lawyer Andrew Campanelli said. "My client faces 30 days in jail for laughing."

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