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Reading neighbors want answers as Joel Fontanez recovers from burns

By Dwayne Parker, Reporter, DParker@wfmz.com
Published On: Jun 20 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 21 2013 10:11:21 AM CDT

Burned man: Neighbors want answers

READING, Pa. -

Frustration appears to be mounting in one Reading neighborhood over a crime that has still not been solved.

Joel Fontanez was intentionally set on fire while working at Citi-Subs at South 10th and Cotton streets in Reading in April, police said.

Witnesses reported seeing flames shooting off of Fontanez's body, and some even put their own lives at risk to put out the flames.

Almost two months have passed since the crime and some neighbors said they're concerned no one has been arrested yet.

"Yeah, we want some answers," Moyer said. "I wish they could catch that person, and justice would be served."

Fontanez is recovering slowly and has just started to speak again, according to his girlfriend, Jazmin Candelario.

Candelario added that Fontanez is in stable condition at Lehigh Valley Hospital's burn center near Allentown.

Friends in the area have pictures of Fontanez recovering, but they said the images are too graphic to show.

"They're way worse than graphic," said Luis Garcia. "His face is burnt up. His arms are burnt up. Every time he moves, it hurts him. It's ridiculous what people out here in Reading do to other people."

Police said they have canvassed the neighborhood and searched for surveillance footage. They said the fire marshal is also involved.

Meanwhile, the store where Joel was attacked has not reopened.

Police are asking for your help in finding the person who set Fontanez on fire. Anybody with information is asked to call Crime Alert Berks County at 877-373-9913.

Anonymous calls are accepted, and you could earn a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest.