Ontario man accused of threatening to kill people, setting fire at Upland church – San Bernardino Sun

An Ontario man was arrested after he allegedly threatened to kill people at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Upland and set a small fire in the chapel on Thursday, July 7, police said.

There were no injuries, Sgt. Marci Williams said. Authorities didn’t have an estimated cost of damages.

Police received a call at 2:48 p.m. about a man in the chapel yelling that he would kill everyone in the church, located at 877 N. Campus Ave., according to Williams. The man also claimed he had a weapon, she said, but none was seen.

She said the school wasn’t in session at the time.

There were two or three people there, including church staff and a woman who was praying, Lt. Anthony Kabayan said.

“They all vacated the chapel area,” he said.

Police said the suspect lit books on fire. A wall sustained smoke damage, Kabayan said.

The suspect was walking out as officers arrived, the lieutenant said. Officers used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire.

David Martinez, 42, of Ontario was arrested on suspicion of arson and making a criminal threat.

“He had a lighter,” Kabayan said. “We don’t know if there is any history between him and the church.”

Officers didn’t find a weapon on the suspect, he added.

As of Friday, Martinez remained in custody at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Church officials couldn’t be reached for comment. The church office was closed Friday.

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