OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Police in Northern California arrested a teenager Tuesday on suspicion of setting a man on fire while riding on a bus during rush hour.
Oakland Police investigators and school police officers took a 16-year-old boy into custody Tuesday afternoon, police spokeswoman Officer Johnna Watson said.
The teen, who is being questioned by investigators, could face possible charges including assault with a deadly weapon, Watson added. His name has not been released.
"This is a horrific crime when a human being thinks it's OK to set another on fire," said Watson, who called it a "senseless act."
The incident occurred when the passenger was asleep and wearing a kilt-like piece of clothing was set ablaze by another passenger on the rear of an Alameda-Contra Costa Transit bus in Oakland shortly after 5 p.m. Monday, transit spokesman Clarence Johnson said Tuesday.
The passenger woke up after he noticed his clothing was on fire. He tried to put it out himself when other passengers came to his aid to help put out the flames that severely burned his legs, Johnson said.
Once the bus driver realized what happened, he stopped the bus and called for assistance, Johnson added.
The suspect fled the scene before police arrived.
The victim was taken to the burn center at St. Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco where he is in stable condition with second- and third-degree burns, authorities said.
His name has not been officially released.
A motive also has not been released as investigators are reviewing surveillance video on the bus, which had at least a dozen other passengers onboard, authorities said.
"We have a lot of witnesses who saw what happened and provided information to the officers on the scene that will help us move this case forward," Watson said.