A 57-year-old man is facing criminal charges after Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputies say he caused what a local restaurant owner thought was a gas leak at her business.
Ronald Zirino of Wellington faces charges of attempted arson, fire bomb, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and criminal mischief.
Ana Martinez, the owner of Anita Gourmet Food and Company in Wellington, said she was working at her restaurant Tuesday around 10 a.m. even though the business was closed for the day. Martinez, 40, came back about three hours later and thought there was a gas leak because of the odor.
She went to complete the catering order and didn't call fire rescue crews or police. Later that day she called the propane company to investigate.
No gas leak was discovered but the pilots were shut off and the valves were open, which caused gas to flow into the restaurant.
On Wednesday deputies met with property manager Jeffrey Feiock who showed video surveillance of a man walking past the valves and bending over the area for a couple seconds. Feiock identified the man as Zirino, who was a familiar face at her restaurant and would often help her out by working on equipment.
She said she had recently argued with Zirino after Martinez asked him to pay for the tuna sub he ordered. He then told her he would pray to God to send her "bad things" and left the restaurant while yelling.
Deputies tried contacting Zirino but didn't have any success until Thursday at his home. After his arrest, Zirino did tell the deputy about the tuna sub conversation and said he gave her well wishes from God.
Written by Palm Beach Post