Man pleads guilty to trying to set movie theater on fire

  • David M. Ferguson

    David M. Ferguson

Updated 11/29/2022 11:40 PM

A man who tried to set an Oak Brook movie theater auditorium on fire has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

David Ferguson, 33, of Chicago pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of attempted aggravated arson. DuPage County Judge Margaret O'Connell accepted the plea.


On Jan. 12, 2018, a worker at the AMC Theater at the Oakbrook Center mall told a manager a suspicious person was walking around near Theater 5. When the manager investigated, he smelled a strong odor coming from Theater 6, and patrons quickly exited.

The manager found Ferguson sitting in the theater with a can of the flammable paint thinner on his lap. As the manager was removing Ferguson, Ferguson tried to light a cigarette.

Ferguson had poured paint thinner on the floor and left paper towels soaked in paint thinner in the theater.

He will be required to serve at least 50% of his sentence before being eligible for parole, and O'Connell ordered that he serve the DuPage sentence after a six-year Cook County sentence on an aggravated arson conviction.

Charges of criminal damage to property and unlawful use of intoxicating compounds were dropped. Ferguson had been accused of deliberately inhaling paint thinner fumes.

Go to comments: 0 posted
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.