An Ohio man who bullied his neighbors was forced to stand at a busy intersection wearing a sign after a judge handed down an unusual sentence.
Edmond Aviv, 62, spent years bullying his neighbors, including two children with special needs, so when he finally faced South Euclid Municipal Court Judge Gayle Williams-Byers, his punishment was certainly justified.
Aviv was ordered to stand at the busy intersection for five hours wearing a sign that reads, “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 judge made it clear that the lettering must be big enough for people to read it from 25 feet away.
In addition to having to wear a sign, Aviv will also spend 15 days in jail, seven months on probation, attend anger management classes, receive counseling, and perform 100 hours of community service. Michael Prugh, the son of Aviv’s neighbor Sandra Prugh, went into detail about the bullying that started back in 1998.
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"He came running up immediately and told her to stop weeding,” Michael said of the first day the bizarre bullying began. “That was when it all started. It still doesn't make any sense. One day he poured fabric softener in our yard where my mom was working. He spit in my mom's face. He's thrown dog feces into our yard and on our car's windshield. He attempted to sue us because of where our laundry vent is, saying we were trying to kill him with fabric softener.”
Prugh said that Aviv also went after his two adopted brothers, both of whom have special needs. The Prughs are white, but the boys Sandra adopted are black, and Michael claims that Aviv called the woman “Monkey Momma.”
“One time our neighbors on the other side said they smelled gas, or fuel,” explained Prugh. “It turned out it was coming from his house. We called the fire department and they found that it was coming from a high dryer vent he had rigged, he's an electrician by trade, to blow kerosene fumes out from inside his garage at our house. By disabled brother had gotten sick from the fumes and had to be taken to the hospital. Another time he threw dog feces on a wheelchair ramp we were having built so that they couldn't proceed. It's been going on forever.”
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Williams-Byers called Aviv’s actions “appalling” and said she gave him a punishment that fit the crime.
"This was seemingly a pattern of conduct that had continued over such a long period of time and that the behavior had ratcheted up to such a degree that it had become dangerous for all of the parties that were involved," said Williams-Byers.
Aviv allegedly wrote an apology letter to the family, as instructed by the judge.