NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Brooklyn man fell asleep on the subway, only to wake up engulfed in flames, and police say it was no accident.
“Over here, the skin is gone,” victim Piotr Olszewski told CBS2’s Brian Conybeare in an exclusive interview.
Olszewski has second-degree burns on his hands and arm after waking up on the subway in flames.
“Just everything on fire and smoke, so I was putting fire out with my bare hands,” he said.
Police said he was purposely set ablaze at 2:30 a.m. Friday on the G train as it pulled into the Court Square station in Long Island City, Queens. Olszewski was on his way home to Brooklyn from a friend’s house.
He said he stumbled off the train completely engulfed in flames and smoke. Two conductors saw him and tried to help, but the suspect, identified by police as 18-year-old Christopher Jackson, of Brooklyn, didn’t try to get away. He just stood there, bizarrely laughing.
“I was screaming from the pain.” Olszewski said. “He was enjoying it. He was still there next to me.”
Court records show the same teenager was charged with setting an arson fire in a trash can at Queens Vocational and Technical High School and two other sites back in October.
Olszewski said he hopes Jackson will get jail time and something is done to better protect subway riders.
“It’s not safe, people getting pushed onto the tracks. You know what I mean? Stabbed, robbed and now me catching on fire. Ridiculous,” he said.
He said it took all of his courage to get back on the train after getting out of the hospital burn unit.