Long Island man ticketed for laughing?!

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A neighbor’s complaint could land a Long Island man in jail for laughing too loudly in his own home.

Robert Schiavelli, who turns 42 in April, was slapped with two summonses for “disturbing the peace” on Feb. 12 and 13, after his next door neighbor filed a complaint.

Schiavelli, who is neurologically impaired,  and the neighbor, Daniel O’Hanian, have been engaged in a dispute for more than a year.

Schiavelli said he’s had to use his distinctive robust laugh to defend himself against O’Hanian, whom he claimed has been taunting and teasing him over his disability.

“He’s ridiculed me, mocks me, calls me a retard, does a retard dance,” said Schiavelli who lives in Rockville Centre with his mother.  “I just laugh.  That’s the only thing that seems to stop him.”

Schiavelli said he typically laughs at the neighbor from a second floor bathroom window, after the neighbor sneers at him through the fence that separates their two homes.

Schiavelli is accused of acting “in such manner as to annoy, disturb, interfere with, obstruct, or be offensive to others.”  He’s facing 30 days in jail or $500 in fines for his hearty chuckle.

“I think it’s the stupidest thing I ever heard, not to be allowed to laugh in your own house,” he said with tears in his eyes.

“I do think it’s unconstitutional,” said the man’s mother, Suzanne Schiavelli.  “Who’s to say it’s loud when it comes to laughing.  And who’s to say what annoys one person won’t annoy another.”

PIX 11 tried, but did not get a comment from the O’Hanian family.

Schiavelli and his mom are hoping they have the last laugh in the case.  But at Tuesday’s arraignment, the judge indicated he was not inclined to dismiss the charges.



  • starseed

    its nonsense people need to get a life, and stop minding his, they are just miserable and dont like to see anyone happy.

    • Ashley

      Are you just kidding? Do people have nothing better to so with their lives? And what’s wrong with the cops one would think if they got a call like that they would laugh themselves!! This is turning into one f’d up world more and more each day! Ridiculous !!!

    • Kate

      I wonder if you'd feel that same way if it was a stereo and your neighbor? I doubt it. There is no difference. Some people are extremely loud and do disturb others peace.

      • sumday

        difference bt a stero and a laugh is a laugh is over in a few min a stero keeps going on. Also a stero can be cranked up to be quite loud but you would have to be shouting very loud to compare to a stero's volumn. Now if these were apartments/townhomes/rowhouse ect I could more see your point BUT from the video it looks like these house are seperated and have enough distance bt them that one laughing in his own home should not give the nieghbor the right to infringe on it. I'm guessing the nieghbor is a huge sissy and basicly called the cops to report "he keeps laughing at me make him stop wwwaaaaaa"

      • Doodlebug2222

        But he left out this part > "I'm taunting and verbally bullying my neighbor who is mentally impaired by calling him names and doing dances to ridicule him > making him laugh"….

        Isn't what he is doing some how illegal because he is keeping the man from "quiet enjoyment in his own home / yard?" After all – he is initiating the laughter…

    • Doodlebug2222

      The neighbor – instead of wasting his time mocking his neighbor – should use it to fix up his home's exterior…Really… making fun of someone – isn't that so….. elementary-school-ish?

  • Joseph Welsh

    First there was this fellow up in Maine … ticketed for whistling in public. Now this … ticketed for laughing!
    Sounds like Bloombergism is spreading throughout the east coast. We're all doomed.

    • Guesty McGuest

      Hey next time maybe you should read the article before commenting on it, then you won't look like such a fool!

  • A Bautista

    Yes it's a crime… 42 years old and lives with his mommy. Come on, keep it within limits. You can laugh all you want but who laughs more than 5 mins continuously, even at a good joke. This guy is just annoying.

    • iLoVeDeUcE

      There are plenty of people with disabilities who live with their parents., they are their caregivers. Some are not so blessed to be able to live a normal life on their own. God forbid the day your ability to care for yourself is gone and you end up needing someone to take care of you. You should not poke at those with disabilities. You know Karma hits harder than you.

    • EmmanuelGoldstein

      Obviously Bautista is one of morons who doesn't read the article. I always wondered if they are simply not intelligent enough to read an entire two minute article or if they are just so ignorant that they think they can deduce the entire contents of the article from the headline? Bautista-are you ignorant or just plain stupid?

    • Doodlebug2222

      I'm pretty sure the guy finds it also annoying to be minding his own business and have the nextdoor bully call him names and do dances….. basically menacing him…

    • Phxfire

      I'm sure I'm not the first or the last to blast you. "Schiavelli, who is neurologically impaired," this started the third paragraph…THIRD, so it's obvious you either didn't read the entire article or you can't read and/or comprehend.

  • Marlene

    There are much more serious issues for the cops to attend to. Are you serious! laughing!!! whats next looking at someone, From the look of this guy seems like he has some medical condition. Give him a break.

  • RVC Resident

    This man has been harassing his neighors for years and apparently pix11 fell for his criminal defense attorney's storyline hook line and sinker! This man needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent and his reign of terror of harrasment agains the children next door needs to end now! and c'mon people, stop being so gullible and buying a criminal defense attorney's storyline so easily!

    • jcp

      And his neighbor, who is obviously an adult, isn't harassing him by calling him 'retarded' and doing a 'retarded dance'? I agree…you are an idiot!

    • Doodlebug2222

      If you said this only about the man harassing this man > I agree….

      Here is the thing – if – man A was not verbally bullying this man > by calling him names meant for him to hear from his home and yard next door – as well as do his dances taunting him > than this other man – man B >would not be.. laughing".

      Why is it only one is getting into trouble? My guess is if he walked across > busted the man in the chops > he'd be in less trouble and the ass next door might actually.. zip it.

  • Theresa

    Really – he got the ticket for being an annoyance to his neighbor. They both have issues with each other but this man stated on the news he would open his window when the neighbor came home just to laugh at him. (to annoy the neighbor) This man apparently has an issue and maybe mom could of explained to him what he was doing was wrong ! How long do you give someone with a medical condition a warning ! No jail time but perhaps a scolding from a judge will make all see how silly this is and to knock it off. Sorry I don't find his laugh catchy !

    • JPC

      Where does it say that?? Because the article i just read states
      “He’s ridiculed me, mocks me, calls me a retard, does a retard dance,” said Schiavelli who lives in Rockville Centre with his mother. “I just laugh. That’s the only thing that seems to stop him.”
      Schiavelli said he typically laughs at the neighbor from a second floor bathroom window, after the neighbor sneers at him through the fence that separates their two homes."
      Where in this article does it say he does it just to do it??

    • Char

      A judge tried to "scold me" in court last week and I almost busted up laughing. You simply cannot help it sometimes when an ignoramus airs his/her neurosynaptic-challenged thoughts and especially in response to my honest, simple answer.

  • Tonette

    For real? All the neighbor has to do is cease from staring up at Robert's window! What's the point of his behavior but to antagonize this guy. And laughing in your own house? Really? It's not like he's coming out and standing on the property line. So if it were the sounds of children playing or a couple in the throws of lovemaking, or someone sneezing a lot due to allergies, or even someone practicing a musical instrument, would it also be "disturbing the peace?" Come on, folks. We're paying for this judicial procedure!

    • Mary

      Robert would open his window and laugh at the neighbor ! That's OK Watch the video as he tells you looking so proud that he would annoy the neighbor. MOM should of stopped it all, she could of talked to the neighbor and told her son what he was doing was wrong. Two wrongs don't make a right and I cannot believe this is NEWS !!!!

  • Jim B.

    Mom says: “Who’s to say it’s loud when it comes to laughing. And who’s to say what annoys one person won’t annoy another.”

    Well, initially, the officer on scene. And ultimately, the judge in court.

    • Doodlebug2222

      But the thing here is – this is only because of the complaint against him > aka ONE side of the story.

      When it gets to court > then… it might turn around and bite this man on his dancing bully butt… I hope this man and his mom bring witnesses or prove this man is inciting all of this and irony and karma have justice.

  • guest

    I love the media spin on this story. People act like he is watching TV and laughing for a short period of time (like a normal person does). That isn't the case. Anyone with a brain knows exactly what the guy is doing. He doesn't work, he is home all day, and every time he sees the neighbors, he opens the window and yells at them (call it laughing all you want, he is using a loud sarcastic laugh to purposely annoy people). Mom has no idea what is going on because she is at work all day, and as every other parent does she takes his side (or she might have a screwed up moral compass).

    I for one am glad the cops are doing something about it and I hope the neighbors keep calling them until it stops for good. What else should they do? Go assault the guy? Saying "just ignore him" isn't an option. Nobody should have to deal with that nonsense.

    Everyone keeps buying this story on the word of the yelling guy, mommy and lawyer. He isn't getting bullied or picked on. He might think he is, and maybe AFTER he started his nonsense the neighbor did call him a name or two. He clearly needs a hobby or some sort of work to do. Something other than being cooped up in the house, idle hands are the devil's tool.

    • Doodlebug2222

      I doubt he and his mother are lying. He specifically points to the man next door as the one taunting and bullying him. He indicated when the man dances what he labels his "retard dance" the guy laughs…

      I find it more believable that he is telling the truth than ONE man who is hostile and btw..where is all the OTHER neighbors to complain? Did you notice the reporter tried to talk to the man to get his side of the story and he did not bother responding? If he did nothing wrong and everything was as you said it was > then why not open the door and talk to the reporter also…

      Why was there no complaints from anyone else?

      • guest

        and you know this how? are you a neighbor also and have witnessed this for yourself? if he is mentally impaired then he may not have the mental capacity to even think to say hey there is my neighbor i better open the window and laugh. and if laughing is the only thing that gets that asshole of a neighbor to shut his immature mouth then by all means, laugh away man!

  • Poolchick

    He should charge his ignorant neighbour with harassment/bullying. That might tune him in some but may not since he seems like such a miserable person. I can't believe this poor fellow even got charged with something so rediculous.

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