Man barges into S.F. apartment in drugged-out haze

A young Haight-Ashbury couple had a strange awakening early Tuesday when a man apparently indulged his taste for nonprescription drugs a little and sought sanctuary in their home.

At about 2 a.m., “the [apartment resident] hears a knocking at the door,” said San Francisco police Lt. Tom Buckley, who heads the department’s burglary division. “It keeps getting louder and louder until here comes the door splintering open.”

That’s when 24-year-old Matthew Welch allegedly barged into the apartment near Masonic and Waller streets, screaming that he was being chased, Buckley said. While the unidentified couple living in the unit called the police, Welch took a seat on the floor, Buckley said. He and the occupants waited about two minutes together before police arrived and took him into custody, where he remained at press time.

“We think he had been doing an extreme amount of methamphetamine, which caused any number of imaginary people to be chasing him,” Buckley said Tuesday.

Neighbor Courtney Sexton, 35, said he had just gone to bed when he heard the commotion. He said Welch spent about 15 to 20 minutes pounding on the door and asking to be let in before he yelled, “someone shot the door.”

But Sexton said he didn’t hear any gunshots.

The couple were not home Tuesday afternoon.

amartin@examiner.com

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