Police Silent, No Arrests Three Weeks After Alleged Wisconsin Hate Crime

Althea Bernstein Credit: Bernstein Family

Madison, Wisconsin police are yet to make any arrests in the investigation of an alleged hate crime reported by 18-year old Althea Bernstein on June 24th, three weeks after she reported being attacked while sitting at a stoplight by four individuals she described as “classic Wisconsin frat boys.” Bernstein claims one man yelled a racial slur as the others doused her in lighter fluid, before setting her on fire with a lighter they threw through her car window.

The paramedic in training described escaping the scene and patting out the flames on her face, suffering second and third-degree burns.

One would think that police would be able to at least identify some persons of interest to the public, considering Bernstein is describing an incident that possibly occurred just a few blocks away from the Wisconsin State Capital. Two of the men have been described as wearing floral shirts, clothing that would be easily distinguishable on any surveillance camera footage actively recording around the time of the supposed incident.

Acting Madison Police Chief Vic Wahl confirmed that the investigation is still ongoing as of Wednesday last week when speaking to the Wisconsin State Journal, stating that his department was working with the FBI on the matter.

The Los Angeles-based StandWithUs Center for Combating Antisemitism has announced a $5,000 reward for information in the case, matching an earlier $5,000 CrimeStoppers reward.

A spokesman for the Bernstein family also confirmed to the Journal that the family is declining to speak publicly any further at this time, claiming doing so would jeopardize the ongoing investigation. “I have advised the family against making statements during an ongoing investigation, in order to avoid compromising the hard work of law enforcement officials,” said Bernstein family attorney Andrea Love Sumpter.

It’s time for some serious answers on this frankly questionable incident.

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