Having a bad neighbor is a unique kind of hell. Maybe you don’t want to call the cops on the bro blasting "Sandstorm" in the apartment next door, or the couple upstairs who insists on having impossibly loud sex every night, but you want it to stop. Most people would do nothing; the stronger among us might knock on a door, or complain to a super. If you’re Joel Rosquette—a 50-year-old tenant in New York City—apparently you skip straight to murder-for-hire.
According to a federal criminal complaint filed in Manhattan on Tuesday, Rosquette got so fed up with the unruly teens living across the hall, he hired a hitman to take them out. His neighbors—somewhere around 16 to 18 years old—allegedly threw parties constantly in their tiny apartment, raging long into the night and making a whole heap of noise. Rosquette had a feeling they were drug dealers, though given what we know about today's teens, he could have been mistaken.
In any case, Rosquette wanted the racket to stop. He went to a guy he knew and told him he wanted "to take care of" his superintendent, under the perplexing assumption that whoever replaced him would crack down on the teens across the hall, the complaint claims. When he asked the shady character if he knew anyone who did "that kind of work," the guy said he could pull it off for $10,000. Unbeknownst to Rosquette, the contract killer he'd just tapped for the job was an FBI informant.
"Are you absolutely 100 percent positive that you want me to knock this guy off?" the CI asked Rosquette, according to the complaint.
"One-hundred and ten percent, yes," Rosquette allegedly replied.
Rosquette later abandoned the idea to assassinate his superintendent, according to the complaint, eventually deciding to just go ahead and take out the reprobates themselves.
"Rage is rage,” Rosquette told the CI over the phone, according to the complaint. "When you have rage, you do things… Rage in the heart. When you have that, it's personal.”
The CI put him in touch with a hitman who was up for the job—but, unfortunately for Rosquette, the guy was actually an undercover FBI agent. According to the complaint, Rosquette, who was short on cash, told the agent he also wanted to kill a gas station clerk he knew in Staten Island—another enemy, apparently—and steal all the money in his safe, which Rosquette would use to pay for the hits on those loud-ass teens.
On Tuesday, Rosquette's "hitman" told him the deed was done. He'd robbed the gas station for about $12,000, he told Rosquette at a sit-down, which would be more than enough to pay for taking out the kids across the hall. Rosquette gave the undercover agent the teens' names, told him where they lived, and asked him to make the hit. As soon as they wrapped up their meeting, Rosquette was arrested.
He's now facing up to 30 years in prison, where—if he's convicted—he'll probably get some time away from those godforsaken teens. Maybe he'll have better neighbors in the clink.
Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.
Follow Drew Schwartz on Twitter.
Related: Undercover Cop