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'Highway to Hell', frying pan bring 4 arrests in 26 hours

Union Leader Correspondent

August 31. 2012 1:55AM

Joyce Coffey of Epping was arrested four times on charges of refusing to turn down her radio and hitting her nephew with a frying pan. 

EPPING - A woman who generated numerous loud noise complaints with her blaring music - which included playing AC/DC's hit song 'Highway to Hell' at 1 a.m. - was arrested four times over a 26-hour period.

Joyce Coffey, 53, faces several charges after police arrested her three times this week because she allegedly refused to turn down the music on her radio at home and a fourth time after her nephew accused her of throwing a frying pan at him.

Coffey, who lives at 64 Mast Road in Epping, but also has an address in Kentucky, had her first visit from police around 3 p.m. Tuesday after neighbors complained about her loud rock music.

Police told her to turn down the volume, police Capt. Jason Newman said. An hour later, police were called back to the residence for another noise complaint.

Newman said Coffey was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct when she wouldn't turn down the music.

'As soon as officers left the first time she turned it back up,' Newman said, adding that alcohol may have played a role in the series of arrests.

Coffey was released on $500 personal recognizance bail and warned about the music, but by 9:20 p.m. Tuesday, police had received yet another complaint from neighbors. Officers arrived and could hear the music playing loudly from inside the house, Newman said.

Coffey again allegedly refused to tone it down, so police cuffed her for a second time on a disorderly conduct charge and later released her on $1,000 personal recognizance bail on condition that she not play her stereo until after 10 a.m. Wednesday.

At about 12 a.m. Wednesday, Officer Matt Blonigen was contacted by a Rockingham County dispatcher and told that Coffey wanted a call from police to talk about her music.

In a police affidavit, Blonigen said he called her and during their conversation she asked what a reasonable volume would be for her radio. He reminded her that she wasn't allowed to play the radio until 10 a.m.

'She stated that she would try to keep the peace and not play her music loud,' he wrote.

But things weren't quiet for long. Another noise complaint came in at 1:10 a.m. Wednesday; as Blonigen pulled up in his cruiser, he could hear AC/DC's 'Highway to Hell.'

'When I walked up to the screen door at the side of Joyce's house, I saw that the stereo was placed near the doorway and the speakers were pointed out the door,' Blonigen wrote in his affidavit.

Coffey was arrested for a third time and charged with disorderly conduct and breach of bail conditions. This time, she was held without bail until an arraignment in the 10th Circuit Court-District Division in Brentwood Wednesday morning.

At her arraignment, a judge released Coffey on $10,000 personal recognizance bail and barred her from playing music before 10 a.m. and after 8 p.m. The judge also advised her to look into getting some headphones.

But just when police thought they were done with Coffey, Officer Jonathan Swift was called back to the Mast Road residence to investigate a report of a domestic disturbance.

Coffey told police that her nephew, Dan Letourneau, 49, had pushed her and spit on her. In his affidavit, Swift said he didn't observe any marks.

Meanwhile, Letourneau was at the police station. He told police that he went to the Mast Road residence to pick up some belongings and while he was there, Coffey became upset and threw a frying pan at him. Swift said he observed a lump on Letourneau's head and later spoke to a witness who confirmed that Letourneau had been struck.

Coffey was then arrested for a fourth time for simple assault and breach of bail conditions. Her bail was set at $10,000 cash.

At a video arraignment Thursday morning, a judge changed her bail to $10,000 personal recognizance and ordered her to participate in an inpatient mental health evaluation program. Her bail will revert back to cash if she leaves the program early or has unexcused absences.

If she successfully completes the program, Coffey will remain out on personal recognizance bail, with home confinement and electronic monitoring.

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Jason Schreiber may be reached at

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