A crook has been seized after he broke into a church apparently high on crystal meth and hallucinated about an unseen hand forcing him to baptise himself.
Suspect Derek Porter had used a brick to break into the Emerald Beach Church of God in the US state of Florida, USA, before taking a TV, a computer and even the collection bag.
But he later told the police that while he was in the church he had a spiritual high when “something” held his head under the water in a baptism pool.
Porter – from the neighbouring state of Georgia – was later found to be in possession of methamphetamine and drug-taking gear.
Officers from the Bay County Sheriff’s Office said he did USD 8,000 (GBP 6,300) of damage to the church.
Video footage shows the police searching the building and, bizarrely, a police dog leaping into the baptism pool to cool off as the officer whose bodycam captured the footage is heard laughing heartily.
Newsflash obtained a statement from the sheriff’s office dated 4th August saying: “The Bay County Sheriff’s Office announced today the arrest of a Georgia man who has been charged with Burglary of an Occupied Structure, Criminal Mischief, Possession of Methamphetamine, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
“On August 4th, 2023, BCSO responded to a Burglary call at the Emerald Beach Church of God off of Alf Coleman Rd. Deputies discovered Derek Porter from Georgia had used a cinder block to smash the window of the church to enter inside.”
The statement went on: “A female employee was inside the church at the time and fled for safety upon hearing the glass breaking.
“While inside, Porter caused approximately USD 8,000 worth of damage to the church.
“Porter then loaded several electronics including a television and a computer into his truck along with the church’s money bag.
“Methamphetamine and paraphernalia were also found on Porter.
“Porter stated he could not remember what happened during various moments inside the church.
“He did remember, however, baptising himself in the church’s baptistry pool.”
The police added: “Porter claims ‘something’ was holding his head down under the water while in the pool.
“Porter was out on bond for burglary in Georgia.”