DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Illinois

For Immediate Release

Thursday, February 25, 2021
John R. Lausch, Jr.
, United States Attorney

Federal Indictment Charges Three Individuals With Setting Fire to Chicago Transit Authority Van

CHICAGO — Three individuals have been charged with arson for allegedly setting fire to a Chicago Transit Authority van during a period of civil unrest last spring.

DENZAL STEWART, 24, of Chicago, LAMAR TAYLOR, 23, of Chicago, and DARION LINDSEY, 19, of Park Forest, are each charged with one count of arson, according to an indictment unsealed Wednesday in federal court in Chicago.  The indictment accuses the three of maliciously damaging and destroying the CTA van by setting fire to it on May 30, 2020.

Stewart and Taylor were arrested Wednesday morning.  They pleaded not guilty at their arraignments Wednesday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge M. David Weisman.  Detention hearings for Stewart and Taylor are scheduled for Friday at 10:30 a.m.  Lindsey was already in law enforcement custody on an unrelated charge.  Lindsey’s arraignment on the arson charge has not yet been scheduled.

The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Kristen deTineo, Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives in Chicago; and David Brown, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.  Valuable assistance was provided by the Chicago Transit Authority, U.S. Marshals Service, and U.S. Transportation Security Administration.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Albert Berry III.

The arson charge is punishable by a minimum sentence of five years in federal prison and a maximum of 20 years.  The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

Chicago Field Division