A West Side man detonated an explosive device while riding a Pink Line train near Kedzie on Sunday evening, causing hearing damage to three passengers and suffering severe injuries to one of his hands, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Erik Flores, 24, is charged with possession of an explosive device and aggravated arson. He remains hospitalized and is scheduled to undergo a third surgery on his hand.
Flores boarded a westbound Pink Line train around 8:30 p.m. while carrying a beer and rolling his scooter, Assistant State’s Attorney Sean Kelly said. After parking his scooter, Flores repeatedly warned other passengers that they had until the Cicero station to exit the train or he would blow it up, according to Kelly.
When a passenger approached Flores and tried to calm him down, Flores took out a lighter and detonated an explosive device that he was holding in his right hand, Kelly continued. The explosion was so powerful, it punctured several holes in the ceiling of the train car. CTA surveillance cameras recorded the incident.
Police also recovered a second device, which Kelly described as an eight-inch by one-inch tube with no manufacturing marks.
Kelly said Flores told police that he knew people were on the train when he lit a “firework” with a lighter.
Flores was free on a $250 bail bond at the time of the incident for a felony cannabis charge. In that case, police said they found 182 grams of cannabis in Flores’ car during a traffic stop on April 11.
In 2019, Flores received a two-year sentence for concealing a death or moving a body. In July 2018, Flores wrapped his dead friend’s body with garbage bags and placed it in a garage until it was discovered after spending two weeks in the summertime heat.
Judge Mary Marubio ordered Flores held without bail.