Family says man with autism was asked to leave Argyle Theatre for laughing too loud
A family claims that a man with autism and his aide were asked to leave a performance at the Argyle Theatre because he was laughing too loud.
The family of 27-year-old Joey La Monica say he and his aide did not feel like welcomed guests during a performance of "Beauty and the Beast" at the theater in Babylon.
Joey LaMonica's aide Jennifer Nadeau says the two were approached by a manager during Wednesday afternoon's performance and were asked to leave because of complaints about the autistic man's "outbursts."
"I stated, 'What you're doing is wrong,'" Nadeau said. "You can't kick him out for laughing. He was laughing. He was having a great time."
Joey's mother, Virginia LaMonica, was not there but says she spoke with a manager about the incident.
"It's a lifetime of this, we know the reactions, we know the stares and we know if there's going to be an outburst, we know when to leave," Virginia said.
According to the Argyle Theatre's Facebook page, the two were offered a space in the lounge with a television monitor showing the performance. The social media post said that they did use the space but then decided to leave.
Nadeau says the lounge space they were put at was a couch in front of a souvenir table where they had to listen to employees have their own personal conversations.
The theater referred News 12 to the statement on social media that stated that at no point were the two asked to leave the performance and numerous attempts were made to accommodate them.
The statement also said they interviewed witnesses and audio video recordings and determined the situation was appropriately handled. The theater also said it will be creating better experiences for those with sensory issues and other disabilities.