The assault took spot early Wednesday morning when the lady was driving and stopped at a crimson light and “heard somebody yell out a racial epithet,” according to a law enforcement incident report.
The lady is not named in the report, but a family spokesperson identified her as Althea Bernstein, a university scholar and a volunteer EMT.
“She looked and saw four guys, all white. She states just one applied a spray bottle to deploy a liquid on her encounter and neck, and then threw a flaming lighter at her, resulting in the liquid to ignite,” browse the report, which was submitted above the telephone.
Bernstein then “patted out the flames, and eventually drove home,” the report claimed. “Her mother inspired her to go to a healthcare facility.”
Later on Wednesday, Bernstein referred to as 911 to report the incident, in accordance to Michael Johnson, the loved ones spokesperson and president and CEO of Boys and Girls Club of Dane County.
“As soon as it took place I you should not even try to remember anything, but your brain still has that fight or flight reaction that takes treatment of you,” Bernstein instructed ABC’s “Very good Morning America,” introducing that she drove herself to the crisis home.
Bernstein has melt away marks on her deal with and neck soreness from the incident, Johnson said.
Law enforcement are functioning on getting authorization to entry Bernstein’s medical center information, in accordance to Madison police spokesperson Joel DeSpain. Investigators are also looking at surveillance photos to see if the incident was captured on camera.
“Our department believes victims, and we acquire their assertion and then totally examine what they reported took place to them,” DeSpain instructed CNN Friday. “We imagine this victim, and we are going to operate with her and critique all the online video we can discover.”
Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway released a statement indicating the incident was “a horrifying and absolutely unacceptable crime that I will not tolerate in Madison.”
“Whilst we are nevertheless learning additional about the details, present information and facts implies this may possibly have been a premeditated criminal offense qualified toward folks of colour, which would make the incident even a lot more disturbing,” Rhodes-Conway claimed. “I instantly reached out to the law enforcement when I acquired of the incident, asking them to use all available means to pursue the perpetrators as immediately as doable.”
CNN’s Raja Razek and Jaide Timm-Garcia contributed to this report.