Man Sues 40 People Over 5K Horn Honks
ABC tries to defuse the tension on tonight's 20/20
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2014 10:23 AM CDT
Might want to lay off the horn past Rick Krlich's house.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Here's a phrase you never thought you'd read: Per ABC News, there's "a vast conspiracy of horn honking" going on in Hubbard, Ohio, and one man says he's had quite enough. "In the beginning, it was 100 times a day," says Rick Krlich, who explains drivers have been honking their horns as they drive past his house so often—some 5,000 times over the last seven years—he "can tell an import horn from a domestic horn." According to Krlich, the honking started when he sued the town's then-fire chief in an attempt to buy the house next door, which had been in John Clemente's family for generations.

Krlich failed, Clemente moved in, and the horn-honking started, at Clemente's urging, Krlich alleges. But Clemente says he never instigated the honks—though his son's friends do honk as a means of saying goodbye. Krlich went on to train surveillance cameras on the street, and says he has caught a fireman and a police officer blaring their horns. (He has also started a website proclaiming it a case of "small town terrorism.") Now, he's suing at least 40 alleged honkers. Says Clemente's wife, "Just a regular beep or just to beep at the neighbors across the street, he'll take you to court." ABC will have more on the case on tonight's 20/20; it notes it invited the whole town to a "Peace and Reconciliation Barbecue." Vindy.com talked to attendees, who didn't report much in the way of reconciliation.

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Showing 3 of 34 comments
Big Willy
Sep 15, 2015 9:28 PM CDT
If you're too lazy or self-important to get out of the car and knock on the door, call the person whose attention you're trying to get on your cell phone. Everybody has at least one cell phone nowadays. I firmly believe that this horn-honking phenomenon is part of the same culture of acoustic terrorism that has spawned car stereo systems (aka "Boom Cars") that can be heard half a mile away. Individuals of this ilk take great pleasure in doing whatever they can to deliberately annoy and vex others. Unfortunately, the power of the authorities to do something of substance about it is minimal. There's just not enough police to deal with the serious crimes and the misdemeanor infractions too. If this kind of force-fed noise is occurring in a given neighborhood, it's up to the residents to take the initiative. Try getting a neighborhood coalition together and ask for an appointment with the Mayor or City Manager, or possibly the city council representative who district includes your neighborhood. Contact an investigative reporter from one of your local TV stations and ask them to attend your meeting with the city official as well. All this can be done with a very small monetary outlay. I did this with several of my neighbors when we had an invasion of three individuals with sanity-erasing stereo systems in their cars. The local TV news came out and shot video and even tried to interview one of the "boomheads." His response was "F*** you, mother******!" followed by crotch-grabbing. The police patrolled our area randomly for almost two weeks. Eventually, they packed up and moved.
RachelGG
Aug 20, 2014 8:15 AM CDT
How stupid are the people who are honking? I swear, they need to make a city ordnance that makes it against the law to honk the horn in this area. Then they can post signs at both entrances to the area. Post an officer there every now and again to catch violators. Enough is enough. I do think it was stupid to sue to try and buy a property, but I don't know the full details on that case. Maybe currant residents weren't living in it and it was run down. But them saying they didn't order the horn honking is BS. I don't believe them.
KathyC
May 7, 2014 2:10 AM CDT
How can the people of this town do this for seven years. It's ridiculous.....childish, immature and asinine. People of Hobart, Ohio you look like a bunch of MORONS to the world.