Video Shows Man Setting CTA Train Ablaze Last Month

The Chicago Transit Authority today released surveillance video that shows a man setting fire to a CTA train at the Argyle Red Line station on January 18.

The 34-second clip begins with a CTA conductor confronting 27-year-old David Ferguson after passengers complained about Ferguson’s erratic behavior on the train. One passenger said he threw paint thinner on her.

Within seconds, two police officers enter the train and push Ferguson into the confined cabin space at the end of the car. Almost immediately, flames can be seen erupting as Ferguson allegedly lit paint thinner ablaze.

Thick, black smoke engulfs the car quickly as the officers push Ferguson onto the safety of the platform to execute his arrest.

Today’s video originally appeared on Maggie Huynh’s Twitter feed.

Ferguson suffered third-degree burns in the fire. A CTA worker and one of the officers were also injured, police said.

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

CWBChicago reported exclusively on January 23 that the Argyle incident was the second time that a CTA passenger had accused Ferguson of throwing chemicals on a train since December.
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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