The NY Daily News reports that the Brooklyn man who repeatedly called 911 to complain about hipster-generated noise in his neighborhood (see "Hipster Infestation Not 'Emergency,' Say Police" (Jan. 6, 2013)) has been convicted of making four false crime reports as part of his ongoing struggle.
Authorities say Louis Segna actually called 911 over 400 times in two years, mostly to complain about noise emanating from a fancy coffee shop (which was leasing its space from Segna, as it happens). But the jury apparently heard about only four of the calls, in which he reported potentially serious incidents including gunshots and an explosion in the subway. Police found no evidence these incidents actually happened. Though Segna did not use his real name or address, he was caught because he had eventually called so many times that the precinct commander was able to recognize his voice, having heard it in community meetings.
The defense argued that reports can be genuine but mistaken, and that this might have been likely in Segna's case because he is allegedly, as the report puts it, "extra-sensitive to sensory cues."
A car backfiring could sound like gunshots, I suppose, but I'm not sure what one might misinterpret as a subway bombing. On the other hand, I don't have ESP (extra-sensitive sensory perception). Another problem with this argument: Segna apparently admitted that he made the calls because he didn't think police would respond to his noise complaints otherwise. Whatever the reason, the jury found against him.
Segna's sentencing hearing was held this morning, according to reporter Oren Yaniv (on Twitter). Yaniv says that after a very long hearing, the judge ultimately postponed the sentencing, apparently wrestling with the fact that the false-reports law carries a potential seven-year sentence and with a minimum of two years in jail, which the judge may believe is too harsh. On the other hand, Yaniv reported that the defense had some other arguments up its sleeve:
Among defense lawyer's arguments: defendant is mentally deficient, he vowed never to call 911 again, his roof is leaking and cat has died…
…not making any of this up. Cat year of death is unknown but apparently its name was Meow.
I would probably also have argued for leniency on the grounds that the defendant was on the front lines in the continuing struggle against hipsters, but maybe the judge is a cat person.