16-Year-Old Arrested for Lighting AC Transit Passenger on Fire

OAKLAND — A 16-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of intentionally setting an 18-year-old man on fire as he slept on an AC Transit bus on Monday evening, police said.

Oakland police worked with Oakland Unified School District police to identify the suspect. His name will not be released because he is a juvenile, police said.

According to police, the bus was traveling near the intersection of MacArthur Boulevard and Ardley Avenue, near Interstate Highway 580, when the man was set on fire at about 5:20 p.m.

“He was asleep,” Oakland police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said.

“He woke up and his clothes were on fire.”

When officers arrived at the scene, they found the victim suffering from burns to his lower body, according to police.

AC Transit spokesman Clarence Johnson said the victim was taken to the burn center at St. Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco.

Watson said the teen suffered second- and third-degree burns but is listed in stable condition.

According to Johnson, at least a dozen passengers were on board the AC Transit Line 57 bus when they noticed a man on fire toward the rear of the bus.

Johnson said passengers told the driver what was happening and the driver stopped the bus to call for help, at which point several people exited through the back of the bus.

Police said the perpetrator got off the bus and fled before officers arrived.

Watson said police reviewed footage of the incident captured by a surveillance camera on the bus, and that it appears only one person was involved in the crime.

According to police, no accelerant was used to start the fire. The motive remains under investigation.

(Copyright 2013, Bay City News, All rights reserved.)

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