Shrewsbury Twp. man gets fine in rooster recording citation
A Shrewsbury Township man will have to pay more than $300 after he was cited with playing a loud recording of a rooster at his home in early August.
On Tuesday, Oct. 24, Senior Judge Nancy Lee Edie found Nadim "Dean" Jaouni guilty of disorderly conduct for making unreasonable noise — not for the rooster recording, but for yelling obscenities at night.
Police cited Jaouni in August after they say he was playing a loud recording of a rooster and yelling obscenities in front of his home in the 15000 block of Country Club Road on Aug. 4.
Jaouni, 56, claimed he was not the one who played the recording or yelled the obscenities, and that the neighbors who complained about him had instigated the situation by shooting at his pet ducks the day before.
"Your honor, I don't believe I was treated fairly," he said during his summary trial Tuesday.
Complaints: Neighbors Dawn and Harry Raffensberger testified during Tuesday's hearing that the day before the incident, Jaouni's son's pet ducks had walked on their property, and Harry Raffensberger fired a "warning shot" to scare the ducks.
That night, Dawn Raffensberger testified, Jaouni called police, saying his neighbors were firing at his home, and he feared for his family's safety.
About 1:30 a.m., the Raffensbergers said they could hear a recording of a rooster crowing next door.
Dawn Raffensberger called police.
"The person that answered (the phone) said that he could hear the rooster loud and clear," she said.
This went on for 20 minutes, she said, and about 2 a.m. Jaouni's oldest son came home and asked what Jaouni was doing. The recording stopped after that, she said, which is before state police came by to follow up on Dawn Raffensberger's complaint.
She testified that later she saw Jaouni walk out and call the couple obscene names and then urinate near the trailer on his property.
Dawn and Harry Raffensberger said they could see him clearly out in the yard from their home, which is across the street.
Later that morning, Jaouni played the recording again, Dawn Raffensberger said. She told the court that she heard him later complaining to neighbors that the Raffensbergers wanted to live in the "country" but can't handle the rooster calls.
He played the rooster recording again, she said, and they called police once more.
Trooper Mitchell Penrose, who filed the citation, said he had no trouble finding Jaouni's home.
"I followed the sound of a crowing rooster," he said.
He recalled the recording coming from the top window of the home, and he told Jaouni's son to turn the sound off.
Jaouni: Jaouni called in two of his neighbors to testify, both of whom said they couldn't hear the rooster noises in the early-morning hours of Aug. 4.
Jaouni's neighbor Peter Dunning claimed it also would be difficult to see who is in the front yard because of the bushes at Jaouni's home, and he added that the bushes, which the Raffensbergers claimed were between, were big enough to "hide a few people."
Jaouni testified during the trial and tried to talk about events leading up to the rooster playing, but he was cut off and told by the judge that his testimony had to be relevant to the rooster noise.
He declined to testify on that subject.
Pennrose ended by saying that the evidence of the citation was "clear and concise" and added that Jaouni got off easy with a citation.
Jaouni said the rooster noises came from a laptop, not loudspeakers, and the noise was done out of frustration by his children, who didn't want their pets hurt.
Edie found him guilty of disorderly conduct for unreasonable noise because of the obscenities he was yelling and not the rooster noises.
Afterward, Jaouni told The York Dispatch that he was sleeping during the time the Raffensbergers said he was yelling obscenities. He said he plans to appeal the decision.
After the trial, Dawn Raffensberger refuted Jaouni's statement.
He was fined $100 for the citation, and he must pay $229.54 in court fees.
Jaouni said he plans to move out of his home.
"I just want to live in peace," he said.
Jaouni was ordered to pay more than $9,000 to his landlord for not paying rent and utilities, and failure to keep business in a well-defined area, failure to obtain landlord's permission to keep animals and code violations, according to court documents.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.
Editor's note: This story has been corrected to include Harry Raffensberger's name and correct testimony.