11/30/2012 10:49 am ET

Ramon Severino Brings Bag Of Dead Rats To Housing Court As Evidence Against Landlord In Rent Dispute

Odor in the court! Manhattan tenant Ramon Severino needed evidence against his landlord, so he brought a bag of dead rats to a New York City housing court Thursday, the New York Daily News reports.

Severino's landlord, Riverside Community Management, was seeking $326 in rent money that Severino had withheld. But Severino refused to pay because of an ongoing rat infestation in his apartment. He gathered proof by corralling seven of the vermin in glue traps, killing them by stabbing them with a fork, according to the Daily News.

The sight of the bloody rats cleared the courtroom, according to the paper, but the evidence seemed to work. The case remains open, with a Manhattan Housing Court judge mandating an inspection of Severino's one-bedroom apartment.

Severino, a 52-year-old self-described comedian, isn't the only tenant to make a dramatic statement about New York's vermin problem. In August, Joseph Bolanos, also a Manhattan resident, installed traffic-crossing signs for rats that read "RAT XING" near his Upper West Side apartment, NBC News reported.

Last summer, Bronx residents mounted a campaign to stem the rat population in the Claremont Consolidated Houses, suing the housing authority. One resident told CBS New York: "I’m scared because they’re as big as my foot."