Man Charged With Setting Fire On CTA Train

An Irving Park man used paint thinner to set himself, a book bag, and train seats on fire aboard a Red Line train at the Argyle CTA station, prosecutors said today.

Ferguson in a December mugshot | CPD

Judge Stephanie Miller ordered 28-year-old David M. Ferguson held without bail.

One passenger was splashed with paint thinner, a police officer’s pants leg was set ablaze, and a CTA conductor suffered smoke-related injuries during the incident which unfolded in the fourth car of a southbound train around 5:20 p.m. Thursday, according to police and court records.

Ferguson remains hospitalized with third-degree burns.

He is charged with aggravated arson, aggravated battery in a public place, and aggravated battery to a police officer.

Police records show that Ferguson had been arrested twice in the month leading up to the fire.

On December 15, he was arrested at the Roosevelt Red Line station and charged with battery. Ferguson was arrested at Northwestern Memorial Hospital on December 27 and charged with assault. The statuses of those two cases were not immediately available on Saturday.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is