CHICAGO (CBSNewYork) – Newly released surveillance video shows a man igniting some paint thinner on board a Chicago subway train, sparking a wall of flames.
It happened on January 18 on Chicago’s North Side. Police identified the alleged arsonist as 28-year-old David Ferguson.
Witness Mia Edwards was on the train moments before police came on board to get Ferguson under control.
“Came down to the next stop, and then they was like, ‘everybody got to get off the train,” she said.
Police said Ferguson threatened to light himself on fire using the can of paint thinner.
Surveillance video shows one officer trying to kick the can away. Then, as the officers struggle to take Ferguson into custody, the liquid is ignited.
Right as the officers rush off the subway car with Ferguson, the flames erupt.
“Man, the smell was real strong,” Edwards said.
At one point, one of the officers’ shoes caught on fire, and another officer was burned. The injured officer was taken to a hospital and treated for his burns.
Ferguson was arrested and charged with aggravated arson and aggravated battery to a peace officer and transit employee.
Police said there were no passengers on board the train when the fire broke out.