Witness Blames Malicious Act on Oakland Public Bus on Video Games

Oakland, California news station KTVU has a bizarre story about a 16-year-old who set another passenger on fire while he slept on a public bus. Investigators are still trying to figure out why the unnamed teen intentionally set an 18-year-old on fire on AC Transit bus Monday. One passenger told the news station that he thinks the crime was inspired by video games including Grand Theft Auto and Manhunt, but police are not (at least at the moment) blaming anything other than the defendant. At the moment they don't have a motive for the crime.

Oakland police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said the teen was arrested by officers from her department and the school district's police force. At the time of the incident he managed to flee the scene with other passengers, but surveillance footage from the bus helped police identify him.

The victim, 18-year-old Sasha Fleischman (pictured left), was set on fire at about 5:20 p.m. on Monday by the defendant. Fellow passengers noticed that he was on fire and alerted the bus driver, who quickly stopped the bus to call for help. When police arrived, they found that the victim had suffered from burns to his lower body. He was sent to the burn center at St. Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco where he was treated for second- and third-degree burns.

Tafari Flenoy told KTVU that he thinks the crime may have been inspired by video games.

“It's weird, that's all I can really say. Do you know of a video game where people are setting each other on fire? A bunch, Manhunt, All the Grand Theft Autos, which is my favorite by the way,” Flenoy said.

Anyone with information about the assault can call the Oakland Police Department's Major Crimes Section at (510) 238-3426 or the anonymous tip line at (510) 777-2805.

Friends of Fleischman, who is a senior at Maybeck High School in Berkeley, have set up a fundraising website at fundly.com/helping-sasha-fleischman-have-a-speedy-recovery to help him pay for his hospital bills.

Source: KTVU

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    In GTA 5 you can get a gas can as a weapon, form which you can pour gasoline and then shoot it to ignite it, so, sort of. The only case I managed to is one time I switched to Trevor and he has someone tied to a beach pier.

  2. 0
    GrimCW says:

    Is it even possible to set people on fire in Manhunt or GTA?

    Now if they'd said Postal 2, they might have had some footing. In that you can dump gas on people and light them on fire. then put it out by pissing on them as they lay on the ground, a burned husk in the fetal position.

    But GTA and manhunt?

  3. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    A definite shame that it still happens, albeit not nearly as much as it used to. some still teach that such crap is acceptable, such as the judge you mentioned.


    Double sad since kilts are actually manly as hell.

  4. 0
    Neeneko says:

    That is kinda where I was going with the 'gay' thing, but 'weirdo' works better I think.

    Though I would not say that we have become such a society, in fact I would argue that we have slowly been moving away from it over the last few decades.  The Police used to just shrug off such crimes, victim blaming and absolute morality used to be much stronger forces then they are today.  While they are still elements, they do not have near the power they used to, in no small part due to the fact the police today do a MUCH better job of actually punishing such crimes.

    Sadly there is still quite a bit of 'if you pick your victim right, you won't get punished' going on.  For instance that judge in Philly who ruled you can not (gang) rape a prostitute not only got her bar enforcement back but has won two elections since then, including having significant supporters.  The men who raped the victim took the hint and went on to preform more rapes, which got dismissed.

  5. 0
    prh99 says:

    That is some quality reportage, we do not have a lot of information so we'll make it up, or better yet get others to make it up. Yah for wild speculation.

  6. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    That or the kid just thought he was  weirdo, and we have become a society where being unusual mean it's somehow ok to not treat someone as a person.

  7. 0
    Neeneko says:

    Wait, so a random witness with no connection to the victim or attacker thinks it is about video games?

    Given historical attacks, it is more likely (assuming the two were strangers) that the attacker too exception to the guy's kilt, since unlike video game violence, violence against people perceived as 'gay' is a pretty real thing.

    However, without, well, actual facts, it is pretty hard to say… that is to say we don't know.

Leave a Reply