MPD: Reward doubled to $10K in hate crime attack that left biracial teen burned

The reward is now $10,000
Althea Bernstein, before and after a hate crime in Madison
Althea Bernstein, before and after a hate crime in Madison(Althea Bernstein)
Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 12:56 PM CDT
Email this link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The reward has doubled to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever was behind the attack of a biracial woman in downtown Madison that left her badly burned.

What happened to Althea Bernstein last week has garnered national attention. Investigators say she was driving on State Street last Wednesday when she stopped at a red light. That’s when she reportedly heard someone yell a racial epithet and turned to see four white men next to her.

According to Bernstein, one of them used a spray bottle to shoot liquid at her and then someone threw a flaming lighter at her, setting the fluid on fire. Bernstein says she drove off, trying to put out the flames.

Bernstein suffered second and third-degree burns to her face and will require follow-up treatments for additional medical care, MPD reported.

The Madison Police Dept. has called the attack a hate crime since day one and the FBI have joined in the investigation.

The original $5,000 reward was offered by Madison Area Crime Stoppers. MPD spokesperson Joel DeSpain explained the increased reward comes from the Center for Combating Anti-Semitism, which is part of the international non-profit StandWithUs, and the Mizel Family Foundation.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014 or to leave a tip online at

Copyright 2020 WMTV. All rights reserved.

Latest News

Latest News