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Bus Passenger Set on Fire While Asleep

Police said the suspect acted alone

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A 16-year-old boy is accused of intentionally setting on fire an 18-year-old AC Transit bus passenger as he slept, Oakland police announced Tuesday. Cheryl Hurd reports.

    A 16-year-old boy is accused of intentionally setting an 18-year-old AC Transit bus passenger on fire as he slept, Oakland police announced Tuesday.

    Oakland police spokeswoman Johnna Watson made the announcement at a news conference, after saying that there was video surveillance on the bus. The 18-year-old man's clothes were set on fire as he slept Monday night on an AC Transit.

    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.

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

    Watson said the victim was on fire when he woke up.

    “This is a horrific crime,” Watson said. “Anyone who thinks it’s okay to light another human being on fire is not okay.”

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

    He's listed in stable condition after suffering second- and third-degree burns.

    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.

    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..

    The motive remains a mystery.

    Anyone with information about the assault or about the suspect is  urged to call the Oakland Police Department's Major Crimes Section at (510)  238-3426 or the anonymous tip line at (510) 777-2805.