A Georgia man is drowning in legal troubles after he allegedly broke into a church near Panama City Beach, Florida, stole various items and even decided to baptize himself in the church’s font.
According to the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, Derek Porter was arrested on charges of burglary of an occupied structure, criminal mischief, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
On August 4, police responded to a reported burglary at the Emerald Beach Church of God. According to the arrest affidavit, Porter had allegedly used a cinder block to shatter a window and gain unauthorized entry into the building. A female employee who was present during the incident reportedly fled in fear upon hearing the sound of breaking glass.
The BCSO said Porter’s actions caused extensive damage, estimated at $8,000, as he loaded various electronics including a television and a computer into a truck, alongside the church’s money bag. The sheriff’s office noted that the burglary suspect surrendered to authorities while in the process of loading his vehicle with the stolen items.
Porter also claimed that he had experienced an extraordinary encounter during his time inside the church. He professed that he could not recall specific moments within the church, but vividly remembered baptizing himself in the baptismal pool. What’s more, Porter asserted that he felt a mysterious force holding his head beneath the water during the impromptu baptism.
In an unexpected turn of events, a law enforcement K-9 joined the story as well. As deputies conducted their search of the premises, the dog decided to take a dip in the baptismal pool to cool off from the summer heat without its handler’s permission. Body camera footage captured the amusing sight of the K-9 splashing around in the pool while the deputies could be heard sharing a chuckle at the unexpected spectacle.
It was revealed that Porter had been out on bond in Georgia for a separate burglary charge at the time of the Florida incident. He currently in custody at the Bay County Jail, with his bail set at $19,500. The incident has left both law enforcement and the local community puzzled by the strange combination of a criminal act, alleged religious experience and the K-9’s cool-off session.