SF Man Acquitted Of Apartment Burglary -- He Thought He Was In A Spaceship

04/10/2015 05:08 pm ET | Updated May 04, 2015
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It makes sense when you think about it ... maybe.

A San Francisco man accused of burglarizing an apartment last May was acquitted earlier this week after his attorneys successfully argued that the suspect was actually attempting to board a spaceship he thought was on its roof.

Public defender Jeff Adachi told the court that Santonio Aviles, 41, was suffering meth-induced psychosis and believed the end of the world was nigh, CBS San Francisco reports.

Aviles somehow convinced a resident of the building to let him into the complex. Once inside, he climbed onto the fire escape and found an open window that he used to enter an apartment and take a short nap.

When Aviles awoke, he threw an inflatable exercise ball onto the fire escape figuring he could use it as transportation into the next galaxy. He also stole a backpack from the apartment and loaded it with a passport and earthquake kit, reports.

The passport wasn't Aviles'. It belonged to a woman who, like him, had long dark hair. Aviles testified that he believed the passport would ensure his seat on the spaceship, according to a release by the San Francisco Public Defender's Office.

At some point while Aviles was getting ready to leave Earth forever, the apartment resident and his girlfriend woke up to see a strange man in their home.

The resident tackled Aviles and began punching while the woman hit the suspect with a baseball bat. Then the pair called 911.

Aviles suffered a black eye and various bruises, scratches and scrapes, according to the release. The man who lived in the apartment suffered an injured toe and developed a rash from the encounter.

During the trial, public defender Jacque Wilson argued that Aviles did not enter the building to rob or hurt anyone, but was suffering a meth-induced mental health crisis, according to


The defense included testimony from an expert witness who explained that symptoms of meth psychosis include delusions, paranoia, and hallucinations, CBS San Francisco reports.

The defense worked. Aviles was acquitted of robbery, attempted robbery, assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury and battery with serious bodily injury. If convicted, he would have faced 14 years behind bars.

Aviles was found guilty of misdemeanor battery and assault, according to the San Francisco Sun-Times.

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