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Authorities offer $5,000 reward in Madison hate crime investigation

Althea Bernstein 1

MADISON (WKOW) -- Authorities are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to arrests and convictions in a hate crime attack from Wednesday.

Madison police publicized the reward in an incident report updated Monday.

Those wishing to submit a tip can do so to Madison Area Crime Stoppers at (608) 266-6014 or by computer via P3Tips.com.

While waiting for a green light at the intersection of Gorham and State Street, Althea Bernstein says four white men called her a racial slur, before attacking her, and setting her on fire with lighter fluid. Bernstein is bi-racial.

Her driver's side window was down when she heard someone yell out a racial epithet. She told police she looked and saw four white men. One used a spray bottle to put liquid on her face and neck and then threw a lighter at her. The liquid went up in flames.

Bernstein drove forward and was able to pat out the flames before driving home where her mother encouraged her to go to the hospital, according to police.

She was treated for burns and hospital staff think the liquid spray on her was lighter fluid.

JT Cestkowski

Social Media Content Producer/Desk Editor

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