Man Accused Of Torching Hialeah Home In Court
South Florida Crime
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – With the help of a sign language interpreter, a judge set bond for Joel Martos at $35,000 Monday.
Martos, who is hearing impaired, is charged with arson, burglary, stalking and violating a restraining order.
Police believe he is the man responsible for a Hialeah house fire that left his own daughter with nothing.
“They don’t have the means of bringing that stuff back,” relative Barbara Morales said. “It’s impossible. It’s months and months of saving throughout the year .”
The family, which includes a young girl, her deaf mother and her grandmother, was out of town when the home was set on fire Saturday night.
“They’re just afraid,” Morales said. “They’re afraid for their life. Look what he did to her room. She’s 10 years old.”
Police say Joel Martos, 48, poured accelerant throughout the home and then set it on fire.
Authorities believe surveillance video shows Martos riding up to the house on a bicycle minutes before it went up in flames.
Martos went before a judge Monday, charged with arson, burglary and stalking.
He’s also accused of violating of restraining order filed by his ex-girlfriend, Caridad Borroto.
“He’s crazy,” Borroto said using sign language. “He’s never changed and he’s never going to.”
In court, the judge set his bond at 35 thousand dollars and told him to stay away from his ex-girlfriend’s mother.
During the 13 minute hearing, Martos asked about his daughter. He wants to see her and says it’s been two months since their last visit together.
The judge left that decision up to the family, but emphasized he is not to have contact with the the girl’s grandmother.
After hearing about the judge’s decision to grant bond, Morales told CBS 4 News the Borroto family was devastated and scared. She said they need the community’s help.
“She wants everybody to help her because she misses her home,” Morales said.
If Martos is released on bond, he’ll be kept on house arrest. He will have to wear an electronic monitoring device.
If you’d like to make a donation, contact Barbara Morales at firstname.lastname@example.org.