Webster man indicted on arson, 13 other charges in Wind Tiki restaurant fire

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Firefighters at the site of the Wind Tiki in Webster March 18.
Firefighters at the site of the Wind Tiki in Webster March 18.

WORCESTER — A Webster man was indicted by a Worcester County grand jury on 14 charges, including arson, in connection to the fire that ravaged Webster's Wind Tiki in March.

Joel Batista-Viera, 42, was indicted by Friday. The indictments move the case to Worcester Superior Court, where Batista-Viera is scheduled for arraignment Aug. 24.

On March 18, Webster authorities responded to a three-alarm fire at Wind Tiki on 154 Thompson Road around 2 a.m. The fire took hours to fight and destroyed the restaurant.

Batista-Viera was arrested and arraigned in Dudley District Court on March 29 following an investigation.

Authorities found that someone had earlier broken into and attempted to start a fire in Mexicali Mexican Grill on Worcester Road. There was also a break-in at Lake Pizza on Thompson Road. Surveillance footage from the area led to Batista-Viera's arrest.

The 14 charges he faces 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.

As of July, no plans exist to rebuild the Wind Tiki restaurant.

This article originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: Wind Tiki restaurant fire: Webster man indicted on arson, other charges