SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A man claims he broke into a San Francisco apartment because he thought it was a spaceship — and it worked in his defense.
After getting into a scuffle with the people who lived at the Mission District apartment, he was acquitted of robbery and other felony charges.
According to his defense team, 41-year-old Santino Aviles believed the earth’s destruction was imminent, so he spotted the apartment building he thought looked like a spaceship.
He gained access to the roof by a building resident who let him inside after ringing the buzzer. He then climbed onto the fire escape and into an apartment through an open window.
After a short nap on the couch, he threw the resident’s inflatable exercise ball onto the fire escape, “planning to float with it through the galaxy,” he testified.
The resident and his girlfriend woke up find Aviles in the apartment and went after him with a baseball bat before calling 911. The resident injured his toe in the scuffle while Aviles suffered a black eye and other bruises.
In a videotaped interrogation following his arrest, Aviles can be seen muttering about spaceships and telling police the world was going to explode.
His attorneys say he was suffering from a meth-fueled psychosis. He was only convicted of misdemeanor battery and assault.