Arrest warrant filed in case of man who threw gas on another, set Joel Fontanez on fire in sub shop

Jealous ex-boyfriend, Thomas Lopez, caused fire, court documents show

Posted: 9:36 PM EDT Jul 25, 2013   Updated: 11:05 AM EDT Jul 26, 2013
Thomas Lopez

Police said they now know who threw gasoline on a man at a sandwich shop in Reading in April.

Police obtained Thursday a warrant for the arrest of Thomas Lopez.

Lopez, 29, walked inside the Citi Sub shop at South 10th and Cotton streets on April 30, threw gasoline on Joel Fontanez-Pagan and then set him on fire.

Lopez's ex-girlfriend was involved with Fontanez-Pagan, and the woman told police that Lopez was very upset about her new relationship, according to court documents.

The woman said she had warned Fontanez-Pagan, 34, of possible retaliation by Lopez, police said.

The documents show that Fontanez-Pagan identified Lopez to police as the person who had set him on fire. Fontazez survived, but was severely burned. He was released from the hospital a few weeks ago, officials said.

Lopez, of the 500 block of South 6th Street in Reading, is facing charges of criminal attempt to commit homicide, aggravated assault, arson, risking catastrophe, and recklessly endangering another person.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call Crime Alert Berks County at 877-373-9913. A cash reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for an anonymous tip that leads to his arrest.