Student accused of setting high school teacher on fire
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A 15-year-old boy was arrested after authorities said he set his teacher on fire during class.
WATE reported that the suspect lit his teacher’s hair and shirt with a lighter when she had her back turned to the class.
The victim was identified as Gabriela Peñalba, a 23-year-old science teacher at West High School in Knoxville. Authorities said it happened around 10:45 a.m. Monday.
Officials said the teacher did not suffer serious burns, as other students quickly helped to put the fire out.
School officials said the student tossed the lighter out of a nearby window and fled, but was soon caught by school resource officers.
The unidentified suspect reportedly confessed to the crime in a police interview. His motive remains unclear.
Authorities said the student was charged with aggravated assault and evading arrest and taken to a juvenile detention facility.