News (USA)

Out congresswoman Angie Craig was assaulted in D.C. apartment building

Out congresswoman Angie Craig was assaulted in D.C. apartment building
Angie CraigPhoto: Campaign

Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN), the first openly LGBTQ+ member of Congress from Minnesota, was assaulted in her Washington, D.C., apartment building Thursday morning.

In a statement released on Thursday afternoon, Craig’s chief of staff Nick Coe said that the congresswoman was “physically okay” and asked for privacy.

CNN reports that D.C.  Metropolitan Police have arrested 26-year-old Kendrick Hamlin, also known as Hamlin Kahlil Hamlin, in connection with the assault. Hamlin has been charged with simple assault.

In his statement, Coe said that the assault occurred around 7:15 a.m. Thursday morning in the elevator of Craig’s apartment building.

“Craig defended herself and suffered bruising,” Coe said. “Rep. Craig called 9-1-1 and the assailant fled the scene of the assault.”

Coe added that “there is no evidence that the incident was politically motivated.”

According to a police report, Craig noticed the suspect “acting erratic as if he was under the influence of an unknown substance” in her building’s lobby. The suspect followed her into the elevator and began doing pushups. He then punched her in the chin and grabbed her neck. Craig threw her hot coffee at him and escaped.

U.S. Capitol Police are investigating the attack, NBC News reports. In a statement, Capitol Police said, “There is no indication that the congresswoman was targeted because of her position.”

Vice President Kamala Harris reportedly spoke with Craig on Thursday. “The vice president called to check in on Rep. Craig and wish her well,” a source told CNN. Harris reportedly told the congresswoman to “do what’s needed to take care of herself given the trauma.”

On Thursday, Craig’s fellow Minnesota Democrats reacted to the news. “To give you a sense of how strong @AngieCraigMN is, she went straight to the Hill this morning and attended a meeting in the Senate with the Governor and me and several members of our delegation about legislation for the people of her district,” tweeted Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). “No one messes with Angie.”

“This is despicable,” tweeted Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN). “Angie is tough, and it’s no surprise she defended herself against a violent, unprovoked attack. We must invest in mental health support and upstream crime prevention. We must.”

The Congressional Equality Caucus, which advocates for LGBTQ+ rights and is co-chaired by 10 out members of Congress including Craig, tweeted its well-wishes to the congresswoman. “Violence of any kind is unacceptable. We are happy to hear she is doing well & will continue to support her as she recovers.”

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