Lemon Grove man blames "voices" for bold crime

Says he broke into strangers home with hatchet
Posted at 11:19 PM, Nov 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-26 02:19:28-05

Friday night, the man caught on camera smashing through a window with a hatchet, spoke exclusively with 10News Reporter Bree Steffen. 

Tyler Yates showed us the gashes and scrapes he got from breaking into a lemon grove home last week.

The crime, all caught on surveillance video. In the video, you can see Yates bashing through the window with a hatchet -- smashing the rest of the glass with his hands and crawling through. Fortunately, the family was out of town for Thanksgiving.

While speaking to 10News from jail, Yates said it's hard for him to watch the surveillance video. 

"Man, I'm sorry for the family, I really am," he said.

Yates admits he struggles with drugs, and had done meth earlier that day. He says he heard his family screaming for help inside the home and voices in his head told him to rescue them.

"I'm thinking about it. I'm like 'do I do it? Do I do it?' and they're like 'do it! Do it!' Yates said. "So I went boom and I smashed it in." 

The surveillance video shows police coming to arrest Yates, guns drawn. He is now being charged with burglary, vandalism, shoplifting and theft. He says he wants to get help -- and wants the family to know how sorry he is.

"My sincere apologies," he said. "I feel horrible for that."

He also told 10News Reporter Bree Steffen that - since he's been in jail and off drugs - the voices have stopped. He's scheduled to be back in court Monday.