Lighter Fluid Attack Investigated As Hate Crime

National & World

NBC Newschannel

Teen says men yelled racial epithet, doused her in lighter fluid and set her ablaze as she was driving through downtown Madison, Wisconsin. WMTV’s Brittney Ermon reports.

(WMTV/NBC Newschannel) – The FBI has joined the investigation into an attack on a young woman who was doused with lighter fluid and set ablaze at a Madison, Wisconsin traffic light.

Althea Bernstein, 18, says she was driving on State Street last Wednesday when she heard a racial epithet through her rolled-down driver’s side window.

When Bernstein, who is biracial, looked over, she says she saw four white men, one of whom used a spray bottle to shoot liquid onto her face and neck. Someone then allegedly threw a flaming lighter at her setting the fluid ablaze.

Bernstein told police she drove off, batting down the flames as she went.

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