Federal charges filed against men who set fire to CTA van during downtown riots

Federal charges were filed Thursday against three men who allegedly set fire to a CTA van during riots in the Loop on May 30, 2020.

Denzal Stewart, 24, Lamar Taylor, 23, and Darion Lindsey, 19, are each charged with one count of arson in a federal indictment that was unsealed Wednesday, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago.

In June, Chicago police released surveillance video of a CTA van being set on fire at 333 South State during the May uprising.

The footage shows a man in a pink hat trying to set a cardboard box on fire in the middle of State Street as a CTA van sits unattended in the middle traffic island. The man drops the box and then sets fire to an item that is inside the van. As he walks away, another man runs around the van and closes the vehicle’s doors.

Stewart and Taylor, both of Chicago, were arrested Wednesday morning. Lindsey, who lives in Park Forest, has been in Cook County Sheriff’s custody since July 19 on an aggravated battery charge, according to court records.

The men face sentences of five to 20 years if convicted of arson, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

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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 news@cwbchicago.com