APD: Homeless man says he broke into South Austin home "because I am dirt poor"

A man has been arrested after Austin police say he broke into a home in South Austin because he was homeless.

Gabriel Alexander Montes, 29, was charged with second-degree felony burglary of a habitation.

According to an arrest affidavit, officers were called to a home on Sunny Lane on Feb. 7 just after 11 p.m. The caller said someone has broken into her home and the person was still inside. She said she had walked into the house and saw the suspect at the top of the stairs. The suspect had also seen her, so she ran out of the house and got in her car, parking away from the home.

Officers, after speaking to the victim, parked a few houses away and walked towards the home. Through a window, officers saw a man inside the house sitting on the toilet, says the affidavit. Once he was done using the bathroom, the man noticed an officer through the window who then began giving commands for the man to come to the door.

The man, identified in the affidavit as Montes, came to the door and was put in handcuffs and frisked for weapons. Montes told officers he was homeless and that was why he broke into the home. He also told officers he had never lived in the home and didn't know the residents, saying "this is somebody else's home, I do not know whose home this is."

Officers asked him then why he went inside if he knew it wasn't his home, he said "because I am dirt poor." He told officers his intentions were to take a bath, eat some food and use the bathroom, says the affidavit.

Officers asked him what he would have done if he had entered the home and seen the residents inside, he said he probably would have punched them to try and protect himself. After officers re-explained a scenario of a stranger breaking into his home and punching him, the affidavit says Montes said "I'm the one in the wrong."


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Montes told officers he broke a window using a cinderblock when asked how he got inside. Officers found a cinderblock near a damaged window with broken glass inside and outside the home.

Montes also gave officers a list of the food and drink he consumed inside the house. Officers walked the residents through the home and found food and drink items scattered through the house. The victims told officers Montes never had permission to enter the house to take anything.

Bond has been set at $20,000.