Teen sets sleeping stranger on fire on NYC subway train, looks on laughing

Teen sets sleeping stranger on fire on NYC subway train, looks on laughing
Image: New York Daily News via Piotr Olszewski

The beat goes on. In the latest bizarre mix of gratuitous attempted murder and technology, a teen with a history of arson set a sleeping man ablaze aboard a New York City subway train early Friday morning, then stood by laughing as he attempted to record a trophy video with his cell phone.

The victim, Piotr Olszewski suffered second-degree burns on his hands and arm after awakening to find himself engulfed in flames. “Just everything on fire and smoke, so I was putting fire out with my bare hands,” he told CBS New York.

Two conductors who came to Olszewski’s aid told police that the assailant made no effort to flee the scene. That individual, now in police custody, has been identified as 18-year-old Christopher Jackson, of Brooklyn.

Court records show the same teenager was charged with setting an arson fire in a trash can at Queens Vocational and Technical High School and two other sites back in October.

New York’s Daily News notes additionally:

In 2015, he was arrested for fighting with a 15-year-old fellow student at Queens Vocational and Technical High School in Long Island City.

He was arrested on Dec. 6 for puncturing a tire with a box cutter, the sources said.

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles is a freelance writer.


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