Fallbrook Man Guilty of Cutting Brake Cable

Forty-nine-year-old Leopaldo Lopez pleaded guilty to felony vandalism October 21 for reportedly cutting the emergency brake cable on a truck that was parked at the curb in front of a home in Fallbrook two weeks ago. Earlier that same day (October 9), Lopez had left two death threats on the voicemail of Francisco Martin, 45, the man who owned the truck, according to a deputy’s report.

Martin believed that Lopez was angry with him because he had a relationship with Lopez’s ex-wife, and Martin occasionally gave the woman a ride home from her citizenship class, according to deputy Andrew Brumfield, who responded to the call that night.

At 7 p.m. on October 9, Lopez allegedly crawled under Martin's black Toyota Tacoma truck, which was parked on the 300 block of Aviation Road, a residential street. But when Lopez severed the brake cable, the truck began to roll down the sloping street and caused injury to Lopez, according to authorities. The truck reportedly traveled about 35 feet.

Deputy Brumfield arrived at 7:20 p.m., and, after he detained Lopez, “I noticed he was walking with a severe limp.” The deputy took Lopez to Fallbrook Hospital and the suspect was “cleared for booking” before being arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

Deputy district attorney Tracy Prior negotiated a plea deal that she said was satisfactory to victim Francisco Martin, who is hoping to be reimbursed for the costs of fixing his truck, she said.

Leopaldo Lopez is expected to get 180 days in custody when he is sentenced for felony vandalism on November 21. Lopez will be required to complete a 52-week domestic violence program. “He’s got a clear anger-management problem,” the prosecutor said.

Pictured: Leopaldo Lopez (interpreter in background)

Photo by Bob Weatherston

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Lets see, charged with attempted murder, pleads guilty to felony ADW, and only gets 6 months. Out in 3.

Great job judge, I am sure that will teach this guy a lesson!

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