Man caught on camera pouring diesel fuel on neighbor’s doorstep, trying to light it

Posted at 2:23 PM, Mar 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-08 14:23:09-05

Cuong Pham, 38

STOCKTON, Calif. - A woman and her family are shaken up after their neighbor poured fuel all over her front door before trying to set it on fire.

The Stockton, California woman, who didn't want to be identified, told KTXL the incident was caught on her home's doorbell camera around 2:30 a.m. Thursday near Dominion Drive.

The smell of fuel lingered in the air around the home hours after it was cleaned up. The family says the porch and door were scrubbed several times.

The family said they ignored the notification because most of the time they receive notifications of just insects flying by the camera.

When the woman's mother checked the footage two hours later, she saw her neighbor, identified as 38-year-old Cuong Pham, pouring what appeared to be fuel all over her front door before trying to light it.

Pham can be heard panting in the video.

When the fire department and officers arrived, investigators found approximately two gallons of diesel fuel was poured by Pham.

Investigators told the family if it had been gas, Pham would have killed himself and their family inside the home.

There were a few adults and two children, ages 3 and 10, home at the time of the incident.

"OK, are we going to blow up at any minute? Do I go get the kids, do we take off or is he outside waiting for us?" the woman said.

Officers arrested Pham, who lives across the street, for attempted homicide and arson.

The woman told KTXL Pham told police that he saw a ghost and was trying to get rid of it. Pham also said he has no problem with the family and he'd like to apologize.

This isn't the first time Pham was caught on this family's doorbell camera. On March 1, he was seen ringing the family's doorbell "like crazy" while pacing back and forth.

The woman said Pham is a known drug addict and has mental health issues.

"I wasn’t scared, I was mad. I wanted to go beat the guy up," a man who lives in the home told KTXL.

While the family is relieved the Pham was arrested and no longer across the street, they're still shaken.

"You do nothing, you're still innocent," the woman said. "You still get your house almost lit on fire."