What seemed as a normal afternoon for a teen turned into a horrible nightmare for 18-year-old Sasha Fleischman,
Fleishchman, who was riding the 57 bus in Oakland, identifies as an agender individual – neither male nor female – had been reading a paperback of “Anna Karenina” but later fell asleep on the ride home.
Also riding the bus was 16-year-old teen Richard Thomas who had seen Fleishchman on the bus and proceeded to make fun of the attire it was wearing: skirt, vest, button up shirt and a bow tie.
According to the New York Times, as Fleishchman slept three teenage boys, including Thomas, started to laugh and joke around the victim. One secretly flicked a lighter. The skirt went up in a ball of flame. Fleishchman leapt up, screaming, “I’m on fire!” Two other passengers threw Fleischman to the ground and extinguished the flames, but Fleischman’s legs were left charred and peeling.
The victim suffered second- and third-degree burns that ran from thigh to calf. Thomas was then arrested at his home and charged as as adult, despite him being a minor. He was charged for inciting a hate-crime and was sentenced to seven-years in federal prison.