Calif. Cul-de-Sac Neighbors Just Can't Get Along
Neighbors in San Marcos, Calif., can't seem to get along.
May 11, 2009 — -- From the outside, the picturesque homes on Weatherstone Way just outside San Diego appear to be what many families would consider a prime location for child-rearing, a sense of community and a generally idyllic life.
But the reality for four families in the middle class suburb of San Marcos community is quite the opposite.
Since moving into the development less than a year ago, the four families have been embroiled in legal battle after legal battle over the supervision of the young children who play in the neighborhood cul-de-sac, and the behavior of their adult parents.
The community spat has spilled onto the doorsteps of their neighbors, as allegations of death threats from a 4-year-old and drive-by taunting from an 8-year-old in an electric mini-jeep have turned San Marcos from a kid-friendly haven to a frequent stop for the local sheriff's office.
"We all moved here for a reason -- it's a great place for children," said Sarah Fisher, who moved in with her husband and two children nine months ago.
But Fisher says one neighbor, Gary Trussell, has spoiled that for her children, and in February she filed an application for a temporary restraining against Trussell, alleging that he made her fear for her family's safety.
Fisher says Trussell's 4-year-old autistic son has threatened her children's lives, and the Fishers and three other families believe Trussell himself also poses a threat.
"On two separate occasions Mr. Trussell entered my residence and backyard with no invitation of admittance from anyone in our home," Fisher wrote in the restraining order documentation.
Fisher also described a weekend in August 2008 when she says Gary Trussell asked her husband Steve to watch his son.
"My husband said, No problem," wrote Fisher. "I finished the floors and went to take my shower. As I walked back across the hallway, unclothed, I saw Mr. Trussell walking across my wet, clean floors. The doorbell never rang; there was never a knock, nothing!" wrote Fisher.
"I felt so violated that a man, let alone a new neighbor, decided that he had rights into my home, not to mention the mud tracked throughout the entire bottom floor."
Fisher also alleges that Trussell "got in the face" of her child after the Trussell boy ran into her son's electric jeep.
"My son actually got out of the Jeep and asked, 'Are you OK?'" wrote Fisher. "Mr. Trussell came over, got in my 3-year-old's face and yelled, 'Watch where you are going!'"
Steve Fisher told ABCNews.com in a phone interview that Trussell also once "got in the face" of another neighbor so much so that yet another neighbor had to step in and "stand in the way" to prevent a fist-fight.
And according to Kelly Plaster, who sought a separate February restraining order against Trussell, the Trussell boy has repeatedly made threats against her own children, ages 8 and 5.
"[Trussell's] young son has made threats to 'kill' my children, and I am concerned that Gary or his son will gain access to Gary's firearms," Plaster wrote in the complaint obtained by ABCNews.com.
Trussell, a Continental Airlines pilot, is authorized to use a gun as a participant in the Transportation Security Administration's Flight Deck Officer program implemented after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He keeps the gun in a lockbox in the family's home, according to court documents.
Plaster's husband, Dave Plaster, alleged in his own written statement to police that the Trussell boy "exhibits violent and destructive behavior toward all of the other children in the neighborhood."
The temporary restraining orders sought by Fisher and Plaster and a third made by another San Marcos resident, Danielle Harway, have all been rejected by the San Diego Superior Court.
When reached by phone, Dave Plaster declined to comment and referred all questions to the legal documents the couple filed. Calls made to the Harway residence were not immediately returned.