CTA releases video of cops arresting passenger as he sets fire on Red Line train
Video of the incident shows Ferguson arguing with an officer before the pair starts fighting aboard the train at the Argyle station near the Uptown neighborhood. | Chicago Transit Authority
CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - The Chicago Transit Authority on Friday released surveillance video showing officers arresting a passenger as he set a fire last month aboard a Red Line train on the North Side.
David M. Ferguson was ordered held without bail on aggravated arson and aggravated battery charges, according to Cook County records.
His arrest came in connection with the incident about 5:20 p.m. on Jan. 20, according to the Chicago Police and Fire Departments.
Video of the incident shows Ferguson arguing with an officer before the pair starts fighting aboard the train at the Argyle station near the Uptown neighborhood.
Two more officers join the confrontation, during which Ferguson manages to light a book bag fire, police said. As the officers escort Ferguson off the train, blazes and black smoke fill the car.
He was taken to Weiss Memorial Hospital for treatment and later charged.
A CTA employee was also taken to Weiss to receive treatment for smoke inhalation, police said. No passengers were injured.
The incident came after a pair of Chicago Sun-Times investigations detailed an increase in crime on CTA property.
In July, a Sun-Times analysis of CTA and police data from the beginning of 2015 through mid-April 2017 found serious crime on the CTA in the city went up 16 percent in 2016. More than 90 percent of those serious crimes went unsolved.
Another Sun-Times investigation in November found reports of “non-index” crime — those regarded as less severe than “index” crimes such as murder, robbery and rape — on the CTA in Chicago were on pace in 2017 to surpass each of the previous two years. That included the number of cases of “criminal sexual abuse” such as “inappropriate touching” and “sexual harassment without physical contact.”