Petition calls for McFarland man to be charged with hate crime after punching Black woman in her car

Published: Jul. 13, 2020 at 7:20 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - An online petition with more than 4,000 signatures is calling for a 65-year-old McFarland man to be charged with a hate crime after he was arrested Thursday for opening the door of a 32-year-old Black woman’s car and hitting her in the face.

According to the Madison Police Department, David G. Lythjohan opened a Fitchburg woman’s car door and struck her in the face after banging on her car window in the Woodman’s parking lot on Milwaukee St. Police say the woman responded by kicking Lythjohan.

According to police the woman had dropped off her four children by Woodman’s and the children saw what was happening. Surveillance video shows the children pulling the man away from their mom.

Police say the man hit his head during the struggle and was later seen by paramedics after struggling to answer an officer’s questions.

Lythjohan told police he was upset with the woman because her car was blocking him from pulling out of a parking stall. Lythjohan said he was trying to pick up his wife who was waiting outside of the grocery store. According to police he denied punching the victim.

The petition describes the incident in further detail, stating that Lythjohan “began yelling racial slurs and obscenities” at the woman and her children when she dropped them off. The petition also states that “Once she had parked near the front door the man jumped out of his car, threw open her car door and began to punch and strangle her. She attempted to fight him off by kicking and punching him.”

Lythjohan was arrested for battery and disorderly conduct. The petition states that “The psychological, emotional, and physical distress this has caused for this family is unimaginable,” and calls for Lythjohan to be charged with a hate crime in addition to his other charges.

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