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Reward doubled to $10K in Wisconsin lighter fluid attack

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A reward has been doubled to $10,000 for information leading to whoever set fire to a biracial Wisconsin woman who says she was attacked while she was driving.

The additional $5,000 reward was announced Tuesday by the Center for Combating Antisemitism, a division of the international nonprofit StandWithUs, in partnership with the Mizel Family Foundation. That matches an earlier $5,000 reward by Madison Area Crime Stoppers for information about the attack on 18-year-old Althea Bernstein.

Carly Gammill, director of the StandWithUs Center for Combating Antisemitism, said in a statement the added reward “sends a clear message that we will not ignore this type of vicious crime.” The statement described Bernstein as a Jewish Black American.

Bernstein says she was attacked while driving in downtown Madison early on June 24 by four white men who sprayed her with lighter fluid. One allegedly tossed a flaming lighter at her, setting her neck and face on fire. Bernstein was treated for burns at a hospital.

The attack happened just blocks from where violent protests were occurring at the state Capitol. Police have said they are investigating the attack as a hate crime, with assistance from the FBI.

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