Quiet has returned to El Segundo, a city in Los Angeles that’s home to big aerospace companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin, after the arrest of a suspect believed to be the mysterious and monstrously loud ‘air horn aggravator’, who has terrorised residents like a villain out of Batman.
The air horn aggravator is notorious for blaring a giant, industrial-strength air horn, louder than an oncoming express train, from a car at unearthly hours in the morning.
The sound, so loud it can be heard across the whole city, has brought people leaping from their beds in alarm and dismay. It has been ripping through the night at various locations, usually at about 4am, for weeks. Police have pursued the sound from one suburb to another, but the air horn aggravator was too fast for them.
Police were baffled – but then came the breakthrough. Residents roused from their sleep by the horn spotted a getaway car, a blue four-door sedan. Police eventually stopped a blue 2006 Chevrolet – and allegedly found air horn equipment inside.
El Segundo police arrested John Nuggent, a man of striking appearance, on suspicion of being the air horn aggravator. Appropriately, his arrest came in the middle of the night.
“The sound is like a train coming through the neighbourhood,” El Segundo Police Lieutenant Ray Garcia told local NBC4 News.
Police are confident they have got the right man. “He’s been doing this for weeks, and we’ve been chasing him for weeks – but we got him,” Garcia said.
Nuggent has been detained in El Segundo jail on a misdemeanour charge of suspicion of disturbing the peace. His car, with horn equipment inside, has been impounded, police said.
Written by Peter Needham