Transcript for Couple Claims Entire Town Has Turned Against Them
We've all had nasty neighbors, but an entire town? Think how annoyed you get when one person honks at you. Now imagine all of your neighbors sitting on the horn, 24/7? Did the family wear out its welcome? We'll let you decide. Here's Paula Faris. Reporter: Of all the homes in Hubbard, Ohio, it might be the last one you'd expect to cause folks to fight over. But this vacant house on east liberty street is the hottest property since good old Nehemiah Hubbard founded the town 200 years ago. Oh, what a fuss over a little fixer-upper. This all started in 2007, over a simple real estate deal, correct? Right. It was the property next, next door here. Reporter: Meet Rick and Cindy krlich. Longtime Hubbard residents. They say all they wanted was to buy the property next door. One problem, it wasn't for sale. These folks, John and Marlene Clemente, had inherited half the house. The other half was tied up in court but Rick krlich tried to buy it anyway, even though it had been in the Clemente family for generations. I says, "Well, you are not getting my land. That's not right. It's my family's since 1922. How could you do that?" The Clemente family called me up, and they told me to take my bid off the table. And if I didn't take my bid off the table, we'd be bitter enemies for life. Reporter: Rick never got the house. But he says he's still paying for what he did. As the town fire chief, Clemente had lots of friends. And suddenly Rick and Cindy say it seemed like every single one of them was driving by, honking the horn. And it wasn't to say hello. The Clemente family conspired together to organize a horn blowing campaign against us. That's really what this is all about. Reporter: Ask not for whom the horn blows. It blows for Rick and Cindy krlich. In the beginning, it was 100 times a day. Reporter: They began planning their payback. Their house now bristles with expensive surveillance cameras. As we were looking them over, just watch what happened. And the last camera's down here on the tree. Okay. Oh, somebody just honked their horn. Did you hear that? Yeah. Reporter: Was that a friendly honk? Probably not. Reporter: Rick says his ear is now finely attuned. Do certain makes and models have a particular sound? Yes. Yes. You can tell an import horn from a domestic horn. Reporter: Who are these horn blowers? Not just people in the town but people who work for the town. Firefighters including some from the department John Clemente ran. And police. And here's one of Hubbard township's finest. Not serving, not protecting, just honking. It's enough to wake the dead. This hearse, caught ten times. And would you look at this, the horn on the bus goes. An education for Hubbard's next generation of horn blowers. Rick and Cindy renamed their dining room the evidence room. There's more in the basement. Hundreds and hundreds of photographs here. Reporter: You're like a detective. So when did people start blowing the horns? Were you recruiting people? No. No. Telling them to? No. Reporter: John says he can explain everything. His son's girlfriend and some of her friends would occasionally blow the horn but he says that was just their way of saying good-bye. When they would leave the house, the girls would toot their horn. Mm-hmm. Just to let them know they are leaving. Reporter: A little toot, yeah, Rick says. Like this car leaving the clementes' driveway at 4:00 in the morning. Does the city of Hubbard have a horn blowing epidemic? An "Epidemic"? No. We do have a problem in one particular area. Reporter: We patrolled around town with the police chief Jim taafe. At some point, people began blowing horns. But it became clear at another point that, on occasion, it was used to harass the person that lived here. Reporter: Krlich began taking horn blowers to court on his own. He says he got orders of protection against more than a dozen people. And he didn't stop there. He started suing. Somebody beeps. Rick sues. Beep. Sue. Beep. Sue. At the Trumbull county courthouse, the legal paperwork is piling up. Rick is now suing no fewer than 40 alleged horn blowers including the clementes. This isn't my job, and I don't want to do this. Reporter: Krlich versus everybody. It seems like the town of Hubbard is against the krlichs and everybody is in on it now. Well, why wouldn't you be against him? Reporter: If you beep your horn one time, he'll take you to court. Just a regular beep. Does the city of Hubbard want the krlichs to leave? Oh, I believe so. Reporter: Do you think you have made matters worse by going to such great lengths to stop this? We knew it was a long shot but we asked both sides if they would consider mediation. Oh, I would be open to that. We would love it for it to stop. Reporter: Now there's a thought. Get everybody in Hubbard to come to a meeting. I don't -- I don't know. Reporter: Oh yeah, Rick. That's just what we're gonna do. It's the "20/20" bbq peace summit. But will the warring parties or anyone else bother to show up?
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