A 43-year-old man was found outside of his neighbor’s house clutching a dog that he thought he saved from a fire. Michael Orchard believed that he saw flames tearing through his neighbor’s home. He went door to door trying to get help. When no one else reacted to the fire, he rushed in to save the pet.
The incident took place in October 2016. Orchard had consumed both LSD and cough medicine, leading him to hallucinate the fire at his neighbor’s home.
According to a report by Unilad, Orchard initially began banging on other residents’ doors around the Halfmoon, New York neighborhood trying to get help after spotting the imaginary fire.
When no one rendered aid, Orchard took his car, a black BMW sedan, and drove through a fence. Then, he smashed the home’s back door and ran in to save the large white dog.
Law enforcement found Orchard outside of his neighbor’s house holding the “rescued” animal in his arms. Police determined that there was no fire like the man thought.
“Troopers found an individual standing in the middle of the roadway with a large white dog,” said Trooper Mark Cepiel when describing the incident.
“He believed the residence was on fire,” Cepiel continued, and he was rescuing the dog.”
Cepiel also added that Orchard was “not a cat burglar.”
While Orchard’s heart may have been in the right place, he still faced criminal charges. He was charged with second-degree burglary along with third-degree criminal mischief for his actions. Orchard did not face any drug charges.
“He drove over yards and through the fence. At no point was he on the roadway and no illegal substances were found in his possession,” said Cepiel