ABC 6 Exclusive: Diocese Treats YouTube Video as Threat

Created: 05/12/2014 10:52 PM
By: John Doetkott

(ABC 6 News) -- The Diocese of Winona took out a restraining order against an Austin man after they say he posed a threat to their students and parishioners.

The alleged threats were made in a video that was uploaded to YouTube, and church officials took every precaution to make sure the threats didn’t become reality.

Officials with the diocese said the video shows Matthew Janes making violent threats so severe that church officials felt their community was at risk of being harmed.

Janes is now barred from coming within 1000 feet of any diocese owned facility.

When officials with the diocese first discovered the video, Janes, who is considered a transient, was living at a diocese run facility adjacent to Queen of Angels Church in Austin.

Janes was removed from that facility, but there was one part of the video in particular that made officials concerned.

In the video, Janes talks about an attack at a school, "I walked into school with a 12-inch blade,” he said, then continuing to describe how he would kill staff members.

That prompted officials to send a letter to the parents of students attending Catholic schools not only in Austin, but also in Rochester as part of their safe community protocol.

Since the video was posted, Janes has commented on YouTube saying he wrote the song when he was 13 years old and has no intention of hurting anyone.

At this point it does not appear that Janes faces any criminal charges.

Officials with the diocese said he was taken by the Mower County Sheriff's Office to the Twin Cities for psychiatric evaluation.

Neither the sheriff's office nor the Austin Police Department would say whether they transported Janes or not.