Man sets fire to escape neighbors' noisy sex

He said he lit his apartment on fire so he could go to jail and not have to hear his neighbors; he may have brain damage from a stroke he suffered seven years ago


By Elise Kaplan
The Albuquerque Journal

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A man seeking to escape the sounds of his neighbors having sex took drastic action Sunday night when he set fire to his apartment, according to court documents.

Reuben Cook, 36, told police he "tried to burn anything he could think of" in his apartment in order to spend the night in "prison" away from his neighbors, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court.

Ruben Cook (Courtesy image).

Ruben Cook (Courtesy image).

When police arrived at the multistory, multi-family complex at 5904 Osuna NE a little before 10 p.m. they found minor fire damage, with four separate areas of origin, in one of the apartments.

When the officer asked Cook, the apartment's tenant, to tell him about his day, Cook said "I started the fires in my apartment," according to the complaint.

"He stated that he heard people having sex upstairs and making a lot of noise," the officer wrote in the complaint. "Mr. Cook stated that by starting the fires he could go to 'prison' and get away from the noise."

So the officers took him to the county jail, charging him with arson.

Cook's father, David Cook, said his son suffered from a stroke seven years ago that left him mentally impaired.

"They had to remove part of his brain," David Cook said. "He's not in control of the things he thinks. It was not something that he planned."

Nataura Powdrell-Moore, a jail spokeswoman, said Reuben Cook was released on his own recognizance Tuesday.

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(c)2016 the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.)

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