Man crashes car into neighbor's home in Rancho Penasquitos

Dispute with neighbor may have led to crash

SAN DIEGO - San Diego police Thursday said a man purposely drove his car into his neighbor's home in a Rancho Penasquitos neighborhood.

The incident happened shortly before 3:30 p.m., according to police.

10News learned the driver, identified as 47-year-old Malcolm Cookson, had been embroiled a series of disputes with homeowners Virgil and Alexia Lopez. Neighbors said Cookson suffers from Huntington's disease and paranoia.

The Lopez family said they filed a temporary restraining order against Cookson after a series of issues ranging from vandalism -- the couple said Cookson slashed tires and poured oil on their driveway -- to Cookson's accusation that his neighbor was attracted to his wife, Valerie.

Police believe the disputes may have prompted Cookson to intentionally crash his wife's car into the home.

"What happened basically was our mentally ill neighbor, who has been doing lots of different things to us since July, drove into our house," said homeowner Alexia Lopez.

Witnesses said Cookson's wife was trying to take the car keys from him prior to the crash.

Virgil and Alexia Lopez were not home at the time of the crash, but their baby son and a relative were inside. Both were unharmed.

Virgil Lopez told 10News his son often played near the front door, which is right where the car struck. Police said the car crashed into the home's master bathroom.

Police took Cookson to a local mental facility for evaluation.

Cookson's car will have to remain in the house until a structural engineer can make sure that removing it will not cause more damage.

Print this article Back to Top