The residents of El Segundo, California, have been suffering recently. Over the past several weeks, a blue four-door Chevy Aveo has allegedly been driving around the slumbering neighborhood in the early hours of the morning and blowing an actuated air horn and shattering the peace.
At around 4 a.m. on Sunday morning, after local officers heard the blare of the horn, they were able to pull over the offending vehicle, reports KTLA. A quick search turned up “air horn equipment.” They initiated a citizen’s arrest, because weirdly enough they couldn’t do a proper one, according to an El Segundo Police Department Facebook post:
There have been several comments asking why a Citizen’s Arrest? Rather than being arrested by the officer. First, the on-duty officers cannot be a victim of “disturbing the peace”. So the limit of the law would allow the on-duty police officers to cite the offender for the below infraction of the California Vehicle Code and release him in the field:
27000. (a) A motor vehicle, when operated upon a highway, shall be equipped with a horn in good working order and capable of emitting sound audible under normal conditions from a distance of not less than 200 feet, but no horn shall emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound. An authorized emergency vehicle may be equipped with, and use in conjunction with the siren on that vehicle, an air horn that emits sounds that do not comply with the requirements of this section.
The better solution was to involve those citizen’s who had previously contacted the police and were willing to be victims of Penal Code 415 PC-”disturbing the peace.” This is an offense that...depending on the circumstances...prosecutors can charge as a misdemeanor.
The driver was identified as John W. Nuggent, who was clearly enjoying himself by the looks of his mugshot, and his Chevy Aveo was impounded.
The El Segundo Police Department’s Facebook page ran an exultant update on the matter, which was met by overwhelming joy from the residents.
“Thank you ESPD!” wrote one commenter. “I am a victim of his antics which have kept me awake many nights. I love living in a city where the police take its citizens’ complaints seriously!”
“It was this idiot that’s been waking us up!” typed another, probably hitting the spacebar with unnecessary force.
The Los Angeles Times called the El Segundoans “ecstatic” at the arrest. The Daily Mail suspects that someone in the neighborhood “wronged” Nuggent and the air horn was his version of revenge. But we know better.
Little do the residents understand that repeatedly having their sleep disturbed is good practice for the various fight-or-flight scenarios that living in El Segundo entails. The people of that small strip mall and office complex community must be hardened for the unpredictable threats that plague the area.