Webster Man Indicted In Connection With Wind Tiki Restaurant Fire

Firefighters Extinguishing House Fire.

Photo: Getty Images

WEBSTER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A Webster man was indicted on 14 charges, including arson, in connection with the fire that burned down the Wind Tiki restaurant in March 2022, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early, Jr.

Joel Batista-Viera, 42, was indicted by a Worcester County Grand Jury on Friday on charges that include arson, five counts of breaking and entering in the nighttime to commit a felony, two counts of larceny from a building, four counts of breaking into a depository, and two counts of vandalizing property.

On March 18, 2022, crews responded just before 2 a.m. to a three alarm fire at Wind Tiki, a Chinese restaurant located at 154 Thompson Rd. Firefighters battled the blaze for hours and the restaurant was ultimately destroyed by the fire.

Webster Police Department detectives, State Police detectives assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal, and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives investigators learned that someone had broken into the Mexicali Mexican Grill on Worcester Road and tried to start a fire there. Investigators also learned about an attempted break-in at Lake Pizza on Thompson Road.

After collective surveillance footage in the area, authorities arrested Batista-Viera, who was arraigned on March 29.

Batista-Viera will be arraigned in Worcester Superior Court on Aug. 24.

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