Black mother says suspect used racial slur while attacking her, children outside Woodman’s
A Fitchburg mother says a 65-year-old man used racial slurs towards her and one of her children as he opened her car door and struck her in the face outside Woodman’s East last Thursday.
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A Fitchburg mother says a 65-year-old man used racial slurs towards her and one of her children as he opened her car door and struck her in the face outside Woodman’s East last Thursday.
The Madison Police Department said in an update on Wednesday that the mother, who is Black, added that the suspect, David G. Lythjohan, also struck one of her children. Police also announced that the case detective continues to work on the case, and that his reports will eventually be reviewed by the Dane County District Attorney’s Office.
An MPD spokesperson tells NBC15 News that the alleged use of racial slurs against the mother and her child could be the next step in potentially charging the suspect with a hate crime.
On Facebook, the victim in the attack shared that she has bruised ribs and a sprained ankle. Eyewitnesses shared their experience as well.
“It made me think about the fact if it wasn’t Rachel it could’ve been me,” says witness Charly Rowe.
“I was shocked and horrified to see people of my complexion acting like awful, awful people, to do something like this - it takes your breath away,” says Violet Lyn.
NBC15 News reached out to the victim, but she declined an interview, saying her main priority is the well-being of her family.
As NBC15 News reported, Lythjohan was arrested for battery and disorderly conduct after he opened the 32-year-old Fitchburg woman’s car door and attacked her in the Woodman’s parking lot just before 6 p.m. Thursday.
The mother in turn kicked the man, and soon after her children, who she had just dropped off at Woodman’s, saw what was happening and ran to their mother’s aid.
Surveillance video shows the children pulling Lythjohan away from their mother. During the attack, Lythjohan was apparently hit in the head.
Lythjohan later told officers that he was upset with the victim as her car was blocking him from pulling out of a parking stall. Lythjohan says he was trying to pick up his wife, who was waiting outside Woodman’s.
Police say Lythjohan denied punching the mother, who was not identified in MPD’s incident report.
An online petition calling for Lythjohan to be charged with a hate crime now has more than 5,000 signatures.
Lythjohan is out on a $650,000 bail, after posting last Thursday.
Police said Woodman’s surveillance video showed the children pulling the suspect away from their mother, but the store declined to release the video.
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