Wisconsin Woman Set On Fire By Men Yelling Racial Slurs In Possible Hate Crime
An 18-year-old biracial woman in Madison, Wisconsin was attacked this week by a group of white men, who yelled racial slurs at her and proceeded to set her on fire. The victim, a local EMT by the name of Althea Bernstein, was driving home on Wednesday (June 24th) when she stopped at a red light at around 1:00am. According to a report from Madison police, after Althea heard someone yell the N-word at her, one of her attackers sprayed a liquid later identified as lighter fluid all over her face, before throwing a flaming lighter at her, setting her on fire. She identified her attackers as four white men, two of which were wearing "jeans and a floral shirt." Members of the far-right movement Boogaloo are known for wearing Hawaiian shirts.
After she was attacked, Althea proceeded to pat down the flames before driving home, where her mother insisted she go to the hospital. She was treated for burns, but will still need additional medical care.
According to Michael Johnson, president of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County, Althea's family is “saddened at what happened to Althea and the unprovoked attack on her body." Her family also asked everyone to respect their privacy as Althea recovers. Police are investigating the assault as a hate crime.