Toronto janitor cut gas line to blow up school, police say

Story highlights

  • Janitor at Catholic middle school accused of cutting gas line and trying to light stove
  • Staff pulled fire alarm after teachers and students started to get ill
  • Fire department arrived to find gas line intentionally cut, police say
A janitor is facing multiple charges including attempted murder after police say he intentionally cut a gas line and tried to blow up a school.
Vincent Perna, 67, is accused of cutting a gas line and then trying to light a kitchen stove at St. Joseph's College School, a Catholic middle school in downtown Toronto.
Teachers and students were getting ill from a strong odor when they called emergency personnel on Thursday morning. Staff pulled the fire alarm and evacuated the students before anyone was injured. "When officers arrived on scene with the fire department, they noticed the gas line was intentionally cut," Constable Tony Vella told CNN affiliate CTV on Friday.
"He was attempting to kill people," Vella said. Police said they are running a background check on Perna, the head custodian at the school. They aren't sure why he cut the gas line but said they are thankful the staff acted when they did. "We're quite concerned that this situation could have been much worse, but the man has been arrested and charged," Vella said.
Perna faces six charges, including attempted murder and attempted arson. He appeared in a Toronto court on Friday.