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April 13, 2014

Another notable (and astute?) local shaming sentence for elderly bully

Bully Sign Latino

As reported in this AP piece, "Ohio Judge Sentences Man To Wear 'I AM A BULLY' Sign," another notable sentence involving shaming has made national news this weekend. Here are the details:

A man accused of harassing a neighbor 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 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."...

Aviv arrived at the corner just before 9 a.m., 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 misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge. His attorney didn't return a telephone call for comment.

Aviv has feuded with his neighbor 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 Pugh's property, the records said.

Prugh has two adult adopted children with developmental disabilities, cerebral palsy and epilepsy; a husband with dementia, and a paralyzed 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 feces on her son's car windshield, and once smeared feces 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 counseling. 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."

Regular readers know that I tend to be a supporter of shaming sentences as an alternative to prison terms in appropriate cases. And this case seem like just the kind of matter in which a little public shaming, as opposed to an extended jail term, seems to have a reasonable chance of being an effective deterrent and a less cost to Ohio taxpayers.

April 13, 2014 at 01:45 PM | Permalink


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This is not a punishment once ladies start asking him for dates, from around the world.

By the notoriety and publication of his deeds of bullying, contagion will insure many others imitate him. I learned several retaliatory tricks here. I could not have thought of these on my own.

Aviv should sue the hoarder of disabled people next door for diminution of property value. Who on earth would want to move next to her nightmare house? Then report every one of her real infractions to the zoning board, until she is driven out of the area. For example, is she running an unauthorized nursing facility in her home? I would depose her and demand she account for every penny received in disability payments.

Illustrates the anti-male, feminist extreme bias of the current judicial system.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Apr 13, 2014 2:40:35 PM

lucky guy. If that had been my child I'd have shown him a real bully. When I used his head for a baseball.

always have to remember you might be the biggest and baddest shit on the block. But there is always someone out there who can take your ass apart.

Posted by: rodsmith | Apr 13, 2014 5:09:05 PM

I think I need to take a break from reading Doug's blog, or at least the comment section. I read the first sentence from the first comment and I immediately knew which one-track mind wrote it. :-(

Posted by: Daniel | Apr 13, 2014 9:39:28 PM

I would have disallowed the sunglasses, otherwise, seems appropriate.

Posted by: Jesse Lemon | Apr 14, 2014 10:12:41 AM

Yet again I'm puzzled by SC's seemingly incongruous comments.

At once SC seems to be cheering on Aviv to drag into court the woman he's been tormenting ... while simultaneously suggesting Aviv wasn't punished severely enough for bullying her.

Maybe he was being ironic. I hope he was being ironic.

Still, it's a familiar SC template -- akin to his rants cursing as misguided, unscrupulous and inept the rent-seeking lawyers who run the justice system ... while simultaneously urging that the grievously flawed system nonetheless be further empowered to summarily execute repeat offenders.

Aviv's punishment seems to fit his crime...especially the 15-day jail sentence. Forcing angry, hateful white guys to carry signs that make them look mean and stupid can't be much of a punishment on its own. Lots of Tea Party zealots do it voluntarily.

Posted by: John K | Apr 14, 2014 10:45:31 AM

John K stated: " Forcing angry, hateful white guys to carry signs that make them look mean and stupid can't be much of a punishment on its own. Lots of Tea Party zealots do it voluntarily."

Yeah, Tea Party zealots like this: http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/occupy-wall-street-guy-fawkes-570x361.jpg

Hey, John K, let's have a contest. You come up with a list of criminal charges against the "mean and stupid" "white guys" you call "Tea Party zealots" during any of their events and I will provide a list of charges against the saints at Occupy Wall Street. Want to compare whose list is longer and more grisly?

Douglas, I like alternative sentencing but some of this is just silly. A forced letter of apology is no apology at all. Forced "anger management and counseling" does not manage anger or provide counseling at all, although it may add to the punishment to the extent that he has to sit in these sessions for X amount of days. The comment about the "diversity of the South Euclid community that I live in" is equally absurd. He actually is PART of its diversity, as he cannot/should not be forced to like disabled people. He only has to live among them and not break any laws.

A better punishment would have been X amount of days volunteering at a home for kids with developmental disabilities. Vacuuming, painting, washing, etc.

Posted by: TarlsQtr1 | Apr 14, 2014 4:10:02 PM

The one theme in all my commentary is the lawyer dumbass. A very intelligent, modern prelaw student enters law school. If he does not comply with the indoctrination, he is made to leave. He must accept core supernatural doctrines, multiple blatantly fictitious "constructive" concepts, and laws, regulations, legal precedents that have every single law subject in absolute failure. Then he must repeat the mantra, this is the best legal system in the world, when that of Sierra Leone is better. He becomes a lawyer dumbass.

Do you want more bullying of neighbors or less bullying as a matter of policy from the court? I am pointing out the rewarding aspects of the sentence, likely to not deter the defendant, and likely to encourage others to do the same, to enjoy the rewards of notoriety.

Consider alternatives. The lash. Would that end all bullying, and cost the taxpayer next to nothing?

An escrow fund of $10,000. Every time he bullies the neighbor, a $1000 is handed over to her.

Jail time spent with cell mates with handicapped relatives, who hate bullies.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Apr 14, 2014 9:15:49 PM

Please forgive my repeating a comment from a story a year ago, but my question went unanswered by the collective legal intelligentsia here, and I'm still curious. So...

I'm curious as to the backstory of these "creative" punishments. Clearly the judges have no problem sentencing people to the holes, since they do that the other 99.9% of the time. What's with these cases?

Is it that the judge is particularly badly inclined towards these defendants, and really want to stick it to them? Or perhaps they're well disposed and use this as a cover for an unusually light sentence? Or is it just a lark?

To re-introduce myself, I am not a lawyer, merely a scientist. I have no skin in the game, not now or ever under legal threat, nor know anyone who is. Simply a passer-by who is fascinated by this part of our society, and who is vaguely unsatisfied by the way it's currently being run.

Posted by: Boffin | Apr 14, 2014 11:27:17 PM

Daniel is a psychologist, and frustrated me in his oppositionality.

Punishment is the sole tool of the law.

Punishment has many technical aspects, many traps, unintended consequences.

Here is a very brief cursory overview of the subject.


Does any judge know any of this Psychology 101 level stuff?

I have proposed several pre-law college course requirements. Medical school requires just 4 courses, and success in any chosen major. Do the same in law school: Psychology, a specialized course in Operant Conditioning, a course in Critical Thinking, and in Research Methodology, to immunize the future law student from the nonsense they will encounter in their cult indoctrination.

I hope that Daniel will someday agree with me that Psychology as the science of behavior is the basic science of the law. Developments and new knowledge in psychology should be exploited to the fullest by the law. Outside of punishment, the law has an interest in intelligence, age development, brain function, behavioral genetics, the prediction of behavior, and a host of other psychological topics.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Apr 15, 2014 2:36:46 AM

The victim??? also has a large local police dossier on her for calling 911 on an almost daily basis for such things as loosing her kitty...more to the story than meets the eye in this case and sounds like both individuals could stand to have some serious treatment.

Posted by: Jack | Apr 15, 2014 5:17:11 PM

Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party both began as a reaction to the financial crisis of 2007. So why should anyone care whether one group is better behaved at their events than the other. What has either group done to minimize the risk of another crisis is the only thing that matters?

Posted by: Fred | Apr 15, 2014 9:36:26 PM

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