A RETIRED Royal Navy commando has miraculously survived being allegedly run over FOUR times by a ‘neighbour from hell’ on the Costa del Sol.
David James, 80, was savagely attacked by a fellow Brit on his doorstep in the picturesque hills of La Viñuela, Malaga, on Saturday August 12.
The suspect, in his early 70s, a retired councillor from northern England, has been charged with attempted murder and is being held in prison awaiting trial.
He also faces a string of other charges after three others were injured in the incident, court documents seen by this paper have confirmed.
‘I really thought I was a goner,’ David, who is also a former policeman, told the Olive Press from his hospital bed last week, ‘I’ve lost all my teeth, fractured my pelvis and ribs and fractured multiple bones in my face, I’m lucky to be alive.’
The shocking incident occurred at around 5pm when great-grandfather-of-one David, his wife and their friends were returning from a lunch party to his stunning villa in the Mirador del Embalse development.
It was then, according to David, that his next door neighbour’s wife came running out of their driveway in hysterics.
‘She shouted “he’s going to kill me, he’s going to kill me”,’ David recalled while nursing his arm, which still carries a tyre mark from being crushed by the vehicle.
The neighbour, initials D.B, then emerged from his driveway ‘visibly highly intoxicated’, it is claimed.
Seeing that he had his keys in his hand and fearing he was going to drive off while under the influence, David and another resident blocked off the end of the road with their cars.
The neighbour began furiously driving up and down the road while beeping his horn, claimed David.
The alleged attacker finally came to a halt, at which point David decided to approach him to take the keys out of the ignition.
David said: “I then heard his engine rev and I knew what was going to happen, he came at me at full speed and knocked me against the wall.
‘I smashed my head and I thought I was a goner, but somehow I was still conscious.
‘Then he reversed over me, before running me over for a third time, this time on my arm, before reversing over me one more time. It was like something out of a Hollywood movie.’
Neighbours and holidaymakers were screaming amid the panic, and eventually managed to drag David onto his driveway and behind its access gate.
There are still bloodstains on the road and driveway more than a week after the attack.
The alleged attacker, described by neighbours as a ‘madman’, then rammed his car into the gate, which remains dented and broken.
‘He got out of his car and tried to stab me with a pole,’ David, a grandfather-of-five, added, ‘it was terrifying.’
The suspect has lived on the urbanisation for at least a decade and has inflicted a ‘years-long reign of terror’ on neighbours, witnesses told the Olive Press.
David said he filed a ‘denuncia’ – a formal police complaint – against him 18 months ago after he allegedly tried to attack him with an axe.
The dispute was settled out of court as David’s wife had just been diagnosed with cancer and the family had no appetite for a legal battle. She also suffers from dementia.
David, who served in the Royal Navy for 12 years, added: ‘I told the local authority of every previous incident that occurred and I told them he was going to kill somebody one day, although I didn’t know that person would almost be me.’
One British neighbour, who asked to remain anonymous, said: ‘He is a blight on our oasis, David became president of the urbanisation five years ago, and I think he is the only one to actually stand up to him and he doesn’t like it.
‘He has tried to stop most of David’s ideas to improve the development and there have been so many complaints about him, he’s the neighbour from hell.’
David’s step-daughter Harriett, a former lawyer based in London, flew out as soon as she heard of the news.
She has spoken to several victims of the incident, who she says have been left ‘traumatised’.
The Guardia Civil has been contacted for a comment.