OAKLAND (KCBS) – A teenage boy suspected of setting another teen on fire aboard an Alameda County Transit bus Monday was charged as an adult and hate crime enhancements added, according to prosecutors.
Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley and her office filed a criminal complaint in adult court charging aggravated mayhem and felony assault resulting in serious bodily injury against 16-year-old Richard Thomas, with hate crime clauses alleged in both counts.
Thomas is accused of intentionally setting fire to an 18-year-old passenger, Luke “Sasha” Fleischman, while he was riding on an AC Transit bus in Oakland Monday.
According to the probable cause declaration, Thomas told the interviewing office he did it because he was homophobic.
Police said Fleischman was sleeping on the bus, which was traveling near the intersection of MacArthur Boulevard and Ardley Avenue, near Interstate Highway 580, around 5:20 p.m, when his clothes were set on fire.
Officers arriving on the scene found Fleischman suffering from burns to his lower body, and he was transported to the hospital, suffering from severe second-and-third-degree burns.