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Oakland teen set ablaze doesn't want to be 'too harsh' on attacker

The teenager who was set on fire after falling asleep on a bus in Oakland says he doesn't think the accused attacker, also a teen, should be charged as an adult.

Authorities say Richard Thomas, 16, told an officer that he set 18-year-old Luke "Sasha" Fleischman's skirt on fire because he was "homophobic." He has been charged with a hate crime as an adult.

Fleischman, who identifies as neither male nor female, was released from the hospital earlier this week after undergoing treatment for second- and third-degree burns suffered in the Nov. 4 attack, according to CBS San Francisco.

Fleischman told the station that because of the injuries, "I can't walk as fast, and I need to be more careful physically."

But the teen questioned whether Thomas should be charged as an adult, telling the TV station that "I don't want to be too harsh, just because, people do dumb things."

Fleischman plans to go back to school Monday, adding "I'm really glad that I could be home for Thanksgiving." 

The teen also told local media that skirts will still be part of the wardrobe.

"That's something that I'm not going to give up," Fleischman said. "It's a big part of who I am."

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Twitter: @aribloomekatz | Facebook

ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com

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