Reward for information on hate crime where Black woman lit on fire raised to $10,000.

Author: Sam Buisman

Madison police are now offering a $10,000 reward for tips on a hate crime last Wednesday where a Black woman was lit on fire.

According to the Madison Police Department, the Center for Combating Antisemitism has matched the Madison Crime Stopper’s initial reward of $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of perpetrators behind the assault on Althea Bernstein, bringing the total reward up to $10,000.

At press time, police have made no arrests nor identified any suspects related to the Wednesday attack, where Bernstein, who is Black, was allegedly sprayed with lighter fluid and then lit on fire by a group of four white men while waiting at a State Street intersection in her car.

Earlier last week, Bernstein spoke out on the incident through the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County after initially asking for privacy after the assault.

“I don’t have any room for hate or for holding grudges,” said Bernstein, “so I hope these men see what happened to me and choose to make a change in their lives.”

While the MPD has not released any additional details regarding this incident, it is now referring to this attack as a hate crime.

The MPD is asking anyone with information on this attack to call the Madison Area Crime Stoppers at (608) 266-6014 or reach them online at