Wendell Joyner
© Screenshot via News6Wendell Joyner
Wendell Joyner was arrested for trying to save his three dogs from a house fire on Jan. 20 in Brevard County, Florida (video below).

"My defense was I was trying to save my dogs," Joyner told News 6. "I got out of the house period, and then I realized, 'Oh, wait a minute, my dogs are in there,'" Joyner recalled. "So, I went back in the house to look for my dogs." Joyner tried to go back in the house several times, but was overcome by the smoke.

Joyner told the news station that he eventually grabbed a firefighter's ax off the ground, and smashed it through a front window so that he could rescue the canines. Instead, he was tackled by deputies. Brevard County sheriff's deputies said that Joyner disobeyed orders by firefighters, and kept going inside his own house to save his dogs.

Deputies caused injuries to Joyner's face, took him to a local hospital and then him booked at the Brevard County Jail for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. "I think at the most, he should've took me aside, and if he felt that it needed to be, cuffed me and put me in his squad car until things settled," Joyner said.

Brevard County sheriff's spokesman David Jacobs said that the deputies thought Joyner was drunk, and feared what he was going to do with the ax. The dogs were rescued by firefighters, and are back with Joyner. Joyner and his roommate, Amanda Moore, are staying with family. Moore has set up a GoFundMe page to rebuild the house.

In a similar incident on Jan. 21, a man was seriously injured, but not arrested, while trying to save his dog from a house fire in Chester Township, Ohio, notes Fox 8 Cleveland. According to Hamden Township Fire Chief Scott Hildenbrand, the man and a woman got out of the house fire, but the man went back in the home to get the dog. The man ended up in a local hospital in critical condition; the dog didn't make it.

Sources: News 6, Fox 8 Cleveland, GoFundMe