Why was calling 911 and not letting the man into his house considered tactically wrong? Or just the timing? At 3 am I guess I would have started with the 911 call because there is nothing much I am going to do for anyone at that hour that should not involve the police/fire/rescue.
Ture story- once one of our neighbors' fan kicked up on in a chilly 3am morning and he awoke to the smell of rotten eggs. He tried this ploy of getting his infant and two toddlers and wife the heck out of his house ASAP (in their pj's) without doing ANYTHING that might set off the gas (read: no phone calls, no heads up, no getting the cell phone off the charger), and beat it over to the nearest neighbors house.
Rather identical description to the person you are describing I might add.
Not sure the homeowner could see the wife and kids getting frostbite behind this fellow.
Not even sure the homeowner recognized him at first when he was pounding on the door for help. The guy probably sounded crazy too.
Fortunately the homeowner used the same tactics your neighbor did and everyone ended up with the same number of bodily orifices they started with.
Good story to keep in mind for these sort of scenarios before filling up on all the bad stuff.