OAKLAND -- Police on Tuesday arrested a 16-year-old Oakland High School student suspected of lighting another teen's clothing on fire aboard an AC Transit bus Monday night, causing second and third-degree burns, police said.
The victim, 18-year-old Luke Fleischman, was in stable condition Tuesday at the burn unit St. Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco.
A fundraising page for Fleischman, who also goes by the name Sasha, was set up Tuesday by his cousin, Joshua Allan, in an effort to raise $10,000 toward his medical bills. Supporters had donated $820 as of Tuesday afternoon. The page is located at: http://fundly.com/helping-sasha-fleischman-have-a-speedy-recovery.
Fleischman was apparently asleep on the bus, heading home to East Oakland, when the suspect set fire to a "kilt-like piece of clothing," he was wearing, police said.
The attack happened about 5:20 p.m. Monday on an AC Transit 57 line bus with at least a dozen passengers that was heading eastbound on MacArthur Boulevard near Ardley Avenue, police said
Police said it appears the suspect boarded the bus near Oakland High School and saw Fleischman sleeping in a rear seat and lit his clothing on fire, police said. Investigators are still sorting out a motive.
When the victim woke up, he tried unsuccessfully to put out the flames himself. Other passengers rushed to his aid and extinguished the flames, which severely burned the man's legs.
The bus driver did not immediately realize what had happened but stopped the bus a short distance away when he became aware of the attack, police said.
The suspect was detained on campus Tuesday afternoon and taken away by Oakland police, said Oakland Unified School District spokesman Troy Flint. Police have not said whether the victim and suspect knew each other.
Anyone with more information may call police at 510-238-3426 or a tip line at 510-773-2805 or Crime Stoppers at 510-777-8572.
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