BETHLEHEM, Pa. (The Morning Call) — A man charged with setting two fires at a Bethlehem church that banned him said as he was leaving court Thursday that he “was mad at God.”
Wilmer Jose Ortiz Torres, 43, is a former member at Iglesia Pentecostal De Bethlehem on Pembroke Road. Ortiz Torres is charged with arson, burglary and criminal trespass. After Ortiz Torres waived his right to a preliminary hearing ― a move that typically acknowledges that prosecutors have enough evidence to merit charges ― he spoke briefly with the media.
When asked if he set the fires, Ortiz Torres said yes and that he was “mad at God.” Ortiz Torres’ attorney, Edward Andres, and Assistant District Attorney Jim Augustine declined to comment after the brief hearing before District Judge Nicholas Englesson.
Bethlehem police Chief Mark DiLuzio has not said why Ortiz Torres had been banned, but said he held a grudge that “festered and festered,” prompting him to light fires at the church.