Man who set fire on CTA train charged with arson, battery to officer

CHICAGO — A man who threatened to set himself on fire on a CTA Red Line train was charged with aggravated battery and arson, according to police.

David Ferguson, 28, was charged with arson, aggravated battery to a peace officer and aggravated battery to a transit employee after police said he splashed paint thinner on another passenger then set himself and several seats on the train on fire around 5:18 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18 at the Red Line’s Argyle stop. He is also accused of burning a police officer’s shoes.

A woman on the train during the incident said the man poured chemicals on her while she was on the train. She told the Chicago Tribune she initially thought the chemical was paint thinner due to the smell. She alerted the operator who, along with police, ordered everyone off the train.

Chicago fire officials found a book bag on fire on the platform when they arrived, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Police said a CTA employee intervened during the incident and a confrontation occurred which caused the man to ignite the accelerant aboard the train. Officers extinguished the flames and arrested Ferguson.

A Chicago police officer was transported to Illinois Masonic Hospital with a shoulder injury. A CTA employee was transported to Weiss Hospital in stable condition for smoke related treatment, according to police.

Ferguson remains hospitalized for third degree burns.

No passengers were injured.