CLEVELAND (Reuters) - An Ohio man sentenced by a judge to spend Sunday wearing a sign reading “I AM A BULLY” at a busy suburban Cleveland intersection was greeted by a boisterous stream of honking car horns, jeers and insults.
Edmond Aviv, 62, clad in a hat and dark sunglasses, sat slumped in a green plastic chair holding the cardboard sign that is punishment for his treatment of a neighbor, whose husband suffers from dementia, and her seven children, several of whom have disabilities and use wheelchairs.
His sign 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.”
Among the many people who stopped to see Aviv serve his sentence was Alex Simmons, 21, a former neighbor who said Aviv would call out racial slurs to people passing by.
“Parents told us to stay away from the house. He would just stand on the porch and just call us names,” Simmons said, adding, “Justice had been served.”
Aviv was accused of calling the neighbor, Sandra Prugh, “Monkey Mama” as she held her adopted, disabled African-American children and of smearing dog feces on their wheelchair ramp.
The harassment went on 15 years in the Cleveland suburb of South Euclid, Prugh said in court documents.
Aviv pleaded no contest to fourth-degree disorderly conduct in March. South Euclid Municipal Court Judge Gayle Williams-Byers sentenced him to spend five hours on Sunday wearing a placard that must be readable from 25 feet away.
The judge also sentenced Aviv to 15 days in jail, seven months’ probation, 100 hours of community service, anger management classes and mental-health counseling, according to court records.
A probation officer was on hand on Sunday to protect Aviv and make sure he served out his sentence.
“I didn’t do this,” Aviv said to a reporter who asked if he was sorry.
As he spoke, someone in a passing car yelled: “Douche bag.”
Prugh said Aviv has spit on her, tried to run down her wheelchair-bound daughters and directed spotlights at her windows at night, according to court documents.
Last year, authorities discovered Aviv had cut a hole in his garage wall and was using a fan to blow kerosene fumes into Prugh’s back yard.
Aviv must also publish a letter of apology to Prugh in a local newspaper.
Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Leslie Adler