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Why Has This Man Been Honked at Over 5,000 Times?
By ANDREW PAPARELLA, ERIC M. STRAUSS and ALEXA VALIENTE
Long-time Hubbard, Ohio, residents Rick and Cindy Krlich told ABC News’ “20/20″ that everyone in their town has turned against them.
Over the past seven years, they said, horns have been honked 5,000 times by people driving past their house.
“In the beginning, it was 100 times a day,” Rick Krlich said. Lately, the couple said, it has settled down to once or twice a day.
In a 2007 real estate deal, Rick Krlich got into a dispute with John Clemente over the house next door.
It’s a long complicated story, but essentially, Rick Krlich sued in an attempt to buy the house when it was in probate court, even though it had been in the Clemente family for several generations.
Rick Krlich succeeded only in annoying John Clemente, who at the time was the town fire chief. His lawsuit failed, and the Clementes moved into the house.
According to Rick Krlich, John Clemente and his family retaliated by organizing a vast conspiracy of horn honking that has continued throughout the years since.
The Krlich home now has surveillance cameras to record when and who honks their horns while driving past the house. From a fireman in a fire engine to a police officer from a nearby town, the Krlich’s have recorded many honkers throughout the years.
Rick is now suing no fewer than 40 alleged horn blowers, including the Clementes.
John and Marlene Clemente deny they instigated the honking.
According to John Clemente, his son’s girlfriend and some of her friends would blow the horn, but he said that was just their way of saying goodbye.
And while a fire truck and other Hubbard residents have been caught on video honking the horn outside of the Krlich house, John Clemente said that Rick Krlich brought it on himself.
“Why wouldn’t you be against him … and what he is doing to everybody?” John Clemente told “20/20.” “Do you realize he has got 700 cases going to court?”
“If you beep your horn one time, he’ll take you to court,” Marlene Clemente told “20/20.” “Just a regular beep or just to beep at the neighbors across the street, he’ll take you to court.”
In an attempt to bring together a town blown apart by a destructive horn-honking habit, “20/20″ invited the Clementes, the Krlich’s and the town of Hubbard to a Peace and Reconciliation Barbecue.