Living in an apartment can lead to complaints against neighbors when it comes to having a quiet night’s rest. For Reuben Cook, age 36, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, he had enough of the noise from his neighbors who were having loud sex. Instead of complaining to the romantic tenants, he decided to set his own apartment on fire. He did not want to hurt anyone; he just wanted to get away from the sex noises. According to his statements to police, he “tried to burn anything he could think of” in his apartment this past weekend.
Responding firefighters found four areas were Cook is believed to have started fires in his apartment unit, resulting in minor damage. Police responded to the scene and questioned Cook about his actions.
According to the police complaint, Cook stated, “I started the fires in my apartment.” The officer reported, “He stated that he heard people having sex upstairs and making a lot of noise Mr. Cook stated that by starting the fires he could go to ‘prison’ and get away from the noise.” Cook got his wish and was transported to the county jail, charged with arson. Officers found a lighter on Cook, which they believed he used to start the fires in his apartment.
However, there is a sadder side to this story. According to his father, David Cook, his son suffered a stroke seven years ago that has left him mentally impaired. He stated to media, “They had to remove part of his brain. He’s not in control of the things he thinks. It was not something that he planned.” This past Tuesday, the courts released Reuben Cook on his own recognizance after recognizing that he was suffering from a mental illness due to his stroke and brain surgery.