Washington — Police announced that a suspect has been arrested in connection with an assault Thursday morning on Rep. Angie Craig, a Democrat from Minnesota, in the elevator of her Washington, D.C., apartment building. Craig suffered bruising in the attack, her office said.
The DC Metropolitan Police Department reported Thursday night that 26-year-old Kendrick Hamlin was arrested on a charge of simple assault. Police did not immediately disclose how Hamlin was identified and taken into custody.
The incident occurred around 7:15 a.m. on Thursday morning, Craig’s chief of staff Nick Coe said in a statement. Craig saw the assailant in the lobby area of her apartment building, located several blocks northeast of the U.S. Capitol, “acting erratic as if he were under the influence of an unknown substance,” according to a public incident report from the district’s Metropolitan Police Department.
When she entered the elevator to go to her apartment, the male suspect followed her and began to do push-ups, police said. The attacker then punched Craig on the chin and grabbed her neck, according to the report. Craig tossed hot coffee on the suspect to defend herself, though he escaped before police arrived. Two officers canvassed the basement level parking lot of the building, but could not find the attacker.
Coe said Craig suffered bruising from the attack, “but is otherwise physically okay.”
“There is no evidence that the incident was politically motivated,” he said. “Rep. Craig is grateful to the DC Metropolitan Police Department for their quick response and asks for privacy at this time.”
Before the arrest, U.S. Capitol Police said they believed the man who attacked Craig is homeless.
“At this time, there is no indication that the Congresswoman was targeted because of her position; however, the case is still under investigation by both the MPD and the USCP,” the agency said.
House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries said the caucus is “horrified” by the attack and thanked law enforcement who responded to the scene.
“We are all very grateful that she is safe and recovering, but appalled that this terrifying assault took place,” he said in a statement.
Jeffries also requested the House Sergeant at Arms and U.S. Capitol Police work with Craig, her wife and their sons to ensure they are safe while in Washington and at their home in Minnesota.
Republicans and Democrats alike wished Craig well and for a quick recovery.
Craig was elected to Congress in 2018 to represent Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District, which is located south of St. Paul.
The House on Thursday voted to adopt a resolution disapproving of a bill passed by the D.C. City that overhauls the district’s criminal laws. Mayor Muriel Bowser vetoed the proposal, but the city council overrode her veto. Craig was one of the 31 Democrats who voted with all Republicans in favor of the resolution condemning the new D.C. measure.
D.C.’s bill reduces the maximum sentences for some offenses such as carjackings and robberies, and eliminates most mandatory minimum sentences. The chief of the Metropolitan Police Department and top federal prosecutor for the District of Columbia objected to some of the plan’s provisions.
The assault on Craig comes as members of Congress are facing a high number of threats against them. The U.S. Capitol Police investigated roughly 7,500 cases of potential threats against lawmakers in 2022, the agency said, down from 9,600 cases in 2021 and 8,600 in 2020.
In October, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, was attacked with a hammer at their home in San Francisco and suffered a fractured skull and injuries to his arms and hands. The suspect, David DePape, shouted “Where’s Nancy?” and told police he planned to hold her hostage and break her kneecaps.
To help address the surge in threats, Congress approved funding as part of a $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package to bolster security for members and on the Capitol grounds.
The measure includes $6 million for general expenses to support U.S. Capitol Police recommendations to enhance member protection, including through a security program for congressional leadership, as well as expanding services from the Dignitary Protection Division and expanding the Capitol Police’s field office presence. It also provided $2 million for salaries for Capitol Police to provide member security outside of Washington as warranted.