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Loud service at Knightdale church no joyful noise for bullhorn-toting neighbor

July 24, 2018 GMT

A Knightdale man was arrested Sunday afternoon after using a bullhorn to shout down a worship service at a nearby church he found to be too loud, police said.

Richard Earl Elkinton, 55, of 123 Autumn Ridge Drive, was charged with disorderly conduct by interfering with a worship service.

Police Chief Lawrence Capps said Elkinton has lodged several noise complaints against the Iglesia Cristiana El Afarero church, at 5001 Village Park Drive, and police had met with Elkinton and church leaders to address his concerns.

Knightdale officials suggested to church leaders and building owners that they install materials to dampen the sounds coming from inside, Capps said. Town officials also have been working to strengthen the local noise ordinance to make it more enforceable.

Elkinton apparently was dissatisfied with police and town action on his complaints, Capps said, so he went inside the church Sunday and began chanting statements over a “megaphone siren” during the service.

“While Mr. Elkinton may have perceived the sound coming from the church as unreasonably loud or disturbing, his chosen response was in poor taste,” Capps said in a statement.