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US man angry over judge’s order for him to display bully sign on street

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 April, 2014, 10:12pm
UPDATED : Monday, 14 April, 2014, 10:12pm
 

An Ohio man who spent hours on a street corner with a sign declaring he's a bully says that the punishment in a disorderly-conduct case was unfair and that the judge who sentenced him had ruined his life.

Sixty-two-year-old Edmond Aviv mostly ignored honking horns and people who stopped by to talk with him on Sunday in South Euclid, the Northeast Ohio Media Group reported.

"The judge destroyed me," Aviv said. "This isn't fair at all."

The sentence stemmed from a neighbourhood dispute in which a woman said Aviv had bullied her and her disabled children for years. Aviv pleaded no contest to a misdemeanour disorderly conduct charge, and municipal court judge Gayle Williams-Byers ordered him to display the sign for five hours as part of his sentence.

The judge selected the wording for it: "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."

Aviv arrived at the corner with the sign just before 9am on Sunday. Dozens of drivers honked their horns and some passers-by yelled at him.

Aviv denied bullying his neighbours, but declined to answer other questions. A court probation officer monitored him, and Aviv's lawyer stopped by to check on him.

Aviv feuded with 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 the 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 black children with developmental disabilities, cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Her husband has dementia and her son is paralysed.

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

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

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