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I scream, you scream ... and police ticket the driver

Posted January 1, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— The ice cream man is in trouble with the law after someone complained about the loud music from his truck.

"The kids love me. They're out dancing with my music as I'm selling," said Dwight Bell, who operates his Daddy D's Sweets and Treats ice cream truck in Spring Lake.

Bell said he doesn't play classic ice cream jingles on his truck, choosing to feature children singing about ice cream. Some songs have a hip-hop beat.

"I chose to try something a little upbeat because we're in a new time," he said.

Ice cream man in spring lake gets ticket Ice cream truck driver talks about ticket

He  said he has worked the Holly Hills subdivision in Spring Lake for a couple months, but a resident gave him the cold shoulder on the Sunday before Christmas.

"The gentleman ... told me he didn't like my music and I should turn it down because it was Sunday. (There) was a noise ordinance," Bell said.

Soon, a Spring Lake police officer pulled the ice cream truck over.

"I was like, 'What seems to be the problem?' (He said) 'I'm giving you a citation,'" Bell said. "'Your music is too loud, and I'm giving you a citation for disturbing the peace.' I said, 'You got to be kidding me.'"

The citation carries a $50 fine.

The resident who complained couldn't be reached Thursday for comment. Spring Lake police also were unavailable to comment on the case.

Bell said he will avoid the Holly Hills neighborhood for a while, but he plans to fight the ticket at the next Spring Lake Board of Aldermen meeting. He said he was never told of the noise ordinance when he got his business license in Spring Lake.

"How can you give the ice cream man a ticket when he's supposed to be playing his music so people can come out?" he said. “I don’t know an ice cream man in the United States or abroad that actually does not play their music or ring their bells to where it doesn’t reach out at least a block and a half."

54 Comments

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  • kitelover110 Jan 5, 2009

    Just tell the kids that when the driver pays the music it means that he is out of ice cream. When there are no kids waiting, he wio wither stop the music or leave.

  • JDPike Jan 5, 2009

    If you watch the video the ice cream man says that the complainer told him he was breaking a noise ordinance and obviously the guy didn't care. Some people just think that they are above the law. Remember, this was a Sunday morning, I work 50-60 hours a week and if this guy was playing this music on a Sunday morning, I would probably be upset too, especially if there was an ordinance forbidding it.

  • chickenlittle Jan 2, 2009

    In NYC, they have chinese food trucks. Same thing as the ice cream truck, except they have a mobile kitchen and cook you food right there.

  • bronzegoddess40 Jan 2, 2009

    For those who think he was playing "gangsta rap", read again. Bell said he doesn't play classic ice cream jingles on his truck, choosing to feature children singing about ice cream. Some songs have a hip-hop beat.

    It is children singing about ice cream that some of the songs have a hip-hop beat. I can see now why he was targeted because of the music that "they thought" he was playing.

  • lorivalentine1 Jan 2, 2009

    This is just plain ignorant of the complainer.. Obviously he has nothing better to do than complain about meaningless stuff. What a waste of tax payers money on a trivial issue. My kids used to get upset if we did not hear it in time and they drove away..

  • anne53ozzy Jan 2, 2009

    I have to wonder if her would have been cited for playing "Dixie" ....

  • Alexia.1 Jan 2, 2009

    This is silly. Let the guy play the music. What's next? Shall we cite churches for ringing church bells? Perhaps we already have-- I can't say that I have heard any in ages -- only when I go to Europe. I would agree that there ought to be reasonable limits on the volume of the music, but to say he cannot play any music is unreasonable.

  • sunshine1224 Jan 2, 2009

    this is ridiculous...cmon its a ice cream truck..how are the kids suppose to know hes coming if they dont hear the music?...the sensible thing would have been to ask him to maybe turn it down a little if it was that bad..its sad one miserable person can spoil things for other ppl..

  • Tired of your excuses Jan 2, 2009

    He deserves a ticket. If he came thru our neighborhood with that music blaring, I'd report him in a heartbeat.

  • Bing Used Jan 2, 2009

    Did the story actually say someone called the law?

    Could it be possible the music was SO LOUD, the officer patroling HEARD the music for himself.

    All the ice cream guy had to do was turn the music down. Not call the news and complain.

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