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

Dwight Bell was ticketed by Spring Lake police after a resident complained music from his ice cream truck was played too loudly on a Sunday.

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SPRING LAKE, N.C. — 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.

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."


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