The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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July 26, 2013

Pa. man charged with for setting clerk on fire

READING — Police have been searching for a man who allegedly doused a store clerk with gasoline and set him on fire, apparently in a dispute over a woman.

The Reading Eagle reports police obtained an arrest warrant Thursday for 29-year-old Thomas Lopez Jr., of Reading, on charges of attempted homicide, arson and aggravated assault.

Police say Lopez entered the Citi Sub & Grocery Store on April 30 and set 34-year-old Joel Fontanez-Pagan on fire. Police say Lopez attacked the man because he was dating Lopez’s ex-girlfriend.

Berks County District Attorney John Adams says the attack was “horrific” and unlike anything he had ever seen.

Fontanez-Pagan had to be put into a medically induced coma until June 18 as he healed from his burns.

Police say they only recently confirmed Lopez’s identity.


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