US man sits at corner with 'I AM A BULLY!' sign

2014-04-13 21:49
(Tony Dejak, AP)

(Tony Dejak, AP)

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South Euclid - A man accused of harassing a neighbour and her disabled children for the past 15 years sat at a street corner Sunday morning with a sign declaring he's a bully, a requirement of his sentence.

Municipal Court Judge Gayle Williams-Byers ordered 62-year-old Edmond Aviv to display the sign for five hours on Sunday. It says: "I AM A BULLY! I pick on children that are disabled, and I am intolerant of those that are different from myself. My actions do not reflect an appreciation for the diverse South Euclid community that I live in."

The Northeast Ohio Media Group reported that Aviv arrived at the corner just before 09:00, placing the hand-lettered cardboard sign next to him as he sat in a chair. Within a couple of minutes, a passing motorist honked a car horn.

Court records show Aviv pleaded no contest in February to a misdemeanour disorderly conduct charge. His attorney didn't return a telephone call for comment.

Aviv has feuded with his neighbour Sandra Prugh for the past 15 years, court records show. The most recent case stemmed from Aviv being annoyed at the smell coming from Prugh's dryer vent when she did laundry, according to court records. In retaliation, Aviv hooked up kerosene to a fan, which blew the smell onto Prugh's property, the records said.

Prugh has two adult adopted children with developmental disabilities, cerebral palsy and epilepsy; a husband with dementia, and a paralysed son.

Prugh said in a letter to the court that Aviv had called her an ethnic slur while she was holding her adopted black children, spit on her several times, regularly threw dog faeces on her son's car windshield, and once smeared faeces on a wheelchair ramp.

"I am very concerned for the safety of our family," Prugh wrote in a letter to the court for Aviv's sentencing. She said she just wants to live in peace.

The judge also ordered Aviv to serve 15 days in jail and to undergo anger management classes and counselling. He also had to submit an apology letter to Prugh.

"I want to express my sincere apology for acting irrationally towards your house and the safety of your children," Aviv wrote. "I understand my actions could have caused harm but at that time I was not really thinking about it."

- AP
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