Sasha Fleischman: Teen Lit on Fire Is Home for Thanksgiving

Categories: Local News

Happy Thanksgiving, Sasha!
Here is something to be thankful for: Sasha Fleischman, the agender teen who was lit on fire earlier this month while riding the bus, is headed home for the holidays.

NBC delivered the good news this morning, explaining how the 18-year-old, who has had multiple skin grafting surgeries since the incident, will be arriving home today -- just in time to enjoy a vegan Thanksgiving.

Meanwhile, the 16-year-old boy who is accused of lighting Fleischman's skirt on fire is facing hate crime charges and could be charged as an adult.

"They're really champing at the bit to get out of the hospital as nice as the nurses and doctors have been," said Karl Fleischman, Sasha's father. "Sasha's been walking and learning how to wrap up the Ace bandage to give their legs support. (But) Sasha's ready for a change."

On Nov. 4, Sasha, who identifies as agender -- meaning the teen does not identify as male or female and prefers the pronoun "they" -- fell asleep on the 57 bus line home when someone lit Sasha's skirt on fire. The fire spread and the teen suffered second and third-degree burns.

Police used surveillance video on the bus to track down 16-year-old Richard Thomas, an Oakland High School student. Police say Thomas told them he lit Sasha's skirt on fire because he's homophobic. However, his attorney later said it was a prank, not a hate crime.

Meanwhile, the community raised more than $20,000 to help Sasha recover.

Karl Fleischman told the news station that Sasha hasn't really wanted to talk about the burns or what happened. "It's not something Sasha's wanted to dwell on." What's more, the family does not want Thomas to be tried as an adult.

"I think we're of the opinion that a 16-year-old is still a juvenile and shouldn't be tried in adult court," Fleischman said. "I was a 16-year-old once and I know I wasn't fully formed. We've talked to Sasha about that too and Sasha has said to us that they don't feel a 16-year-old should be tried as an adult."

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Tammy Lively
Tammy Lively

I find it sad & rather shocking this poor kid got light on fire for wearing a skirt in the 'open minded' (& I use that term loosely) Bay Area.

Rob Blomberg
Rob Blomberg

This is great news. I think the nurses at Saint Francis Memorial's burn unit deserve a round of applause for their hard work.

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