November 23, 2014


Man suing Avon Lake over skate park has litigious past

Jake Lyman, 15, of Avon Lake practices his skateboarding skills at Weiss Park Skatepark on Wednesday. KRISTIN BAUER | CHRONICLE

Jake Lyman, 15, of Avon Lake practices his skateboarding skills at Weiss Park Skatepark on Wednesday. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

AVON LAKE — For attorney James Pietrangelo II, the decision to file a lawsuit calling to close down a skate park was one of many attempts throughout his life to make his voice heard.

“I’ve always dedicated myself to being the person who stands up,” Pietrangelo said.

On Wednesday, Pietrangelo filed a lawsuit against Avon Lake to close down a skate park across the street from his house, claiming that the noise had become unbearable.

This is not the first time that Pietrangelo has brought a case of this nature to court. In 2009, he filed a lawsuit against the Sandusky library for throwing him out when he protested the noise that some library patrons were making.

According to Pietrangelo in the 2009 complaint, the library was “lax and arbitrary” in enforcing the rule that library noise should be kept to a minimum. After repeatedly coming to the library staff with the issue, Pietrangelo was ordered by police officers to leave. He sued the library in November 2009, claiming that being ordered to leave the library was unlawful and said he suffered emotional distress following the incident.

The case was later overruled in federal court.

Pietrangelo also filed a lawsuit against the Alvas Corporation in Vermont in 2008 following an incident at Pine Street Deli in Burlington, Vt. Pietrangelo said that when he tried to buy a hot dog at the deli, an employee handled the food in an unsanitary way. As a result, Pietrangelo picketed outside the deli and said he was accosted by a person outside, who yelled at him.

Pietrangelo and gay rights activist Dan Choi worked together in 2010 to protest the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” policy in the military.

For Pietrangelo, the lawsuits as well as the activism are indicative of his work to stand up for himself and others.

“I have two criteria for suing,” Pietrangelo said, explaining that he would only file a lawsuit if he has been seriously harmed and if that harm is being done to others as well.

Pietrangelo sees the skate park as one of these cases where both he and his neighbors are being harmed by the noise in the area.

“It hurts when you do nothing but good and you get a slap in the face,” he said.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or

  • Jen Dilligaf-Williams

    That guy has way to much free time!

  • Spec440

    I’m being emotionally harmed by reading this garbage. This guy is why the system is screwed up. Suing a library because you were ultimately the problem and wasting everyone’s time all the way through federal court? Avon Lake….don’t cave in to this guy. The only “standing up” that needs to be done is against this bully.

  • Beth

    Get an ipod with ear buds and a white noise app and calm down. Other people live in this world too.

  • Dennis Flores

    The link below is the TONY HAWK LAW ENFORCEMENT STUDY

  • 32259

    The only thing this guy should fight is his ignorance! He states the only time he sues is when he is seriously harmed? What did the hot get stuck in his throat? Or did he lose his hearing from the tap, tap, tap of the keyboard at the library? Give me a break you knucklehead! Move to the middle of some forest and live happily ever after with your pathetic self!

    • 440patty

      He would probably sue because the leaves fell off the trees in the forest and disturbed his peace….

  • Sue Lawson

    Didn’t they make the park for people to enjoy? Of course people are going to make noise,it’s called having a good time. Doesn’t the park close at a decent time?

  • stop ur whining

    this guy is nuts. when he gets laughed out of court he is the type of guy that goes over to the park with an uzi and opens up. I pray that I am way off base.

  • stop ur whining

    “I have two criteria for suing,” Pietrangelo said, explaining that he
    would only file a lawsuit if he has been seriously harmed and if that
    harm is being done to others as well. –

    exactly how does noise harm you?

  • Jesus fan

    This guy has serious issues, it is the kids we have to protect not him. I would be affraid he would open a gun on those kids. They are only trying to have a good time with what they enjoy and with friends. Do you see these kids breaking into cars or houses. That is the problem with this society to much bullying and not enough of love and affection to our young people in this world. To much for these young kids to handle in todays times especially if they don’t have a good home foundation let alone other people trying to knock them down and bully them. Come on parents lets stand up for our kids and lets stop things like this from happening protect your kids. We neec to warn them at an early age of the wicked ways of our world and bring them to know the lord as their personal lord and savior, he is the only one they can trust. Please help and stand by our kids.

  • 440patty

    Maybe the guy should have considered the skate park prior to buying his house! The park was there first.

  • stargazer2012

    I wonder if he didn’t pick this particular house to buy so he could sue! It’s too bad that he doesn’t take all of this energy and help out at a Food Bank, cook meals for the homeless at the Salvation Army or help an elderly person clean up his/her yard. How about throwing a ball around with a kid? What a waste and what a shame!

  • Doug Hauser

    The guy sounds like he goes around and sues people and places for a living. Avon Lake is his next target. Wonder if there is a way to sue HIM for over burdening the court system with frivolous lawsuits.

  • Chuck Northcutt

    “I have two criteria for suing,” . . . REALLY?!?! Look, I’m an attorney, myself, and, as such, I have many friends who are also attorneys, and I can honestly say that most people I know, including myself, doesn’t sit around thinking up “criteria for suing” others. In my opinion, (so this jabroni doesn’t try suing me, too) most people just wants to live life with as little conflict as possible, including my attorney friends, and anyone who sits around thinking up “criteria for suing” others has some serious issues. This guy – a rare bird, in deed – gives the rest of us a bad name, PERIOD. (In my opinion) :/

    • Bob Sweatt

      This guy is the reason you all get called “Ambulance Chasers”.

      If the park has decent hours of operation. Then this knucklehead (hope that’s not to harsh, I don’t want to hurt this guys feelings) doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

      Just another person who lives to complain.

  • Bob Sweatt

    I look at it this way. As long as the kids are at the Skate Park. The they aren’t out somewhere else causing trouble or up to no good.

    SAVE THE PARK!!!!!!

    • Chuck Northcutt

      I don’t think the park is really in any danger . . .

  • tickmeoff

    What a 99 er. He thinks of himself 99% of the time. The
    genius should have figured out when he moved there, there was a park. When he was a teen, he was probably just
    as loud. It’s a park for crying out loud, these skate parks are overwhelmingly
    good for the rest of us. Who knows what they would be up to otherwise? Very poor thinking on his part does not make
    him entitled to his own little world. You were a kid once and quit being such
    an old fogey, in fact you need to grow up and realize that this park which i
    went to as a teenager is what makes Avon Lake the special place that it is to
    raise a family. Jimmy boy, you have the right at dusk for them
    to shut down the park, as to the rest of your complaining, it’s childish, and
    your lawsuit a ridiculous waste of money. You
    could have saved yourself the cash asking the neighbors what they thought. Your
    mother probably told you were special as a child, and you probably are, but
    then so are the other kids! I didn’t
    realize you were an attorney till I read the Chronicle. You are the last
    Attorney I would hire. You seriously have a screw loose and need to see a

  • stop ur whining

    i hope the kids T.P. his house. Then he can sue the police (for not stopping it) the grocery store (for selling the T.P.) and charmin (for the double soft that wont come out his trees). what a f*&^$r

  • CS Brauer

    The kids who utilize this park should group together, one of their parents is bound to be a lawyer considering AL has (seemingly) the highest lawyer concentration in the country next to DC & file a countersuit for this guy trying to bully them & the city with litigation. He’s making a threat after all… and that’s gotta mean something???

  • Willie Jenkins

    What a douche

  • therest_ofthestory

    He’s an angry gay man!

  • mike

    Let the kids skate!!! This guy is just looking to make money

  • Todd Lattea

    I believe according to noise ordinance law you are allowed to be noisy until 11pm. and the skate park says it closes at dusk, so who is down to set up at date and have skater,bikers or whoever meet at park before whenever “dusk” is and have some fun and make some noise and after dusk go ride,skate,walk or whatever in the street surrounding this area and test out bike horns,bells,and safety lights till 10:59 ? I never been to this park YET but heard great things about it

  • Mott

    I hurt my eyes reading this article- I think I should sue the news paper for publishing something that could possibly cause so much harm. This guy is only thinking of himself and wasting so much time tying up the court system with this nonsense. You can try and get the skate park closed, but when that happens all those kids will just end up skating in the street by his house.