'They found the air horn guy!!' El Segundo residents rejoice after driver with air horn arrested

The praise poured onto El Segundo Police Department’s Facebook page from ecstatic residents.

“They found the air horn guy!!” wrote Jenn Birch.

Jennifer Phan wrote to another resident, “It was this idiot that’s been waking us up!”

According to police, Phan and other residents can now sleep easy.

On Sunday, patrol officers heard the blare of an actuated air horn — a device similar to a train horn — as it shattered the pre-dawn silence of El Segundo’s west side at about 4 a.m., police said on Facebook.

Officers looked around and saw only one car on the street — a little blue four-door, 2006 Chevrolet Aveo — and pulled it over, said Sgt. Vincent Martinez.

In the back of the car, officers found an air tank with hoses connected to a device near the car’s gas pedal, Martinez said. When an officer tried the car’s horn, the sound of “a big truck or train” blasted from the diminutive hatchback, he said.

The driver, identified as John W. Nuggent, admitted he was the man who for the last six weeks had been driving down the street in the middle of the night waking up residents, Martinez said. The target of Nuggent’s nuisance was a resident on the street with whom he had some sort of dispute, Martinez said.

“I’ve been an officer for over 27 years and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen someone retaliate using an air horn,” Martinez said with a chuckle. “But people find very creative ways at getting at other people.”

According to police, one of the residents who reported the horn told dispatchers on the phone Sunday that they’d actually seen the driver before, and that resident was able to positively identify Nuggent as the suspect. 

Nuggent was arrested on suspicion of disturbing the peace.

“He’s been doing this for weeks, and we’ve been chasing him for weeks —– but we got him,” Lt. Ray Garcia told KNBC.

Joseph.serna@latimes.com

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna on Twitter.

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UPDATES:

2:25 p.m.: This article was updated with details of Sunday’s arrest.

This article was originally published at 8:25 a.m.

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