Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minn.) was assaulted in the elevator of her D.C. apartment building Thursday morning, fighting off her attacker by tossing hot coffee at him in an incident that her office said does not appear to be politically motivated.
Despite the attack, Craig went to the Capitol later in the morning, casting three votes on the House floor during the day’s proceedings.
Police said Thursday night that they arrested Kendrick Hamlin, 26, also known as Hamlin Khalil Hamlin, and charged him with simple assault. Police said the man has no fixed address.
A D.C. police report said Craig saw the alleged assailant in the lobby “acting erratic as if he was under the influence” of a drug or other substance.
Craig told police that she said to the man, “Good morning,” and got into an elevator. She told police that the man followed her onto the elevator “and began to randomly do pushups,” according to the report.
The report said Craig told police the man punched her with a closed fist on the chin and grabbed her by the neck. Craig said she threw hot coffee on the man, who then got away.
Two police officers searched the basement-level parking garage but did not find the man, according to the report.
“My morning coffee really saved the day yesterday, but not exactly how I expected it to," Craig said in a statement Friday. “On a serious note, I will also say that I was very, very lucky that I was not more injured — and I’ll have more to say about that soon.”
D.C. police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck confirmed that an assault occurred in an apartment building in the Northeast section of Washington, not far from Union Station. Sternbeck said it appeared that the attacker may suffer from mental health issues.
Craig, 50, who is serving her third term in Congress, represents Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District.
The attack on Craig comes amid heightened security measures at the Capitol. The area around the Capitol complex was secured with fences and additional officers this week for President Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, under advice from the Capitol Police Board. However, only members of congressional leadership receive a security detail.
Just last year, the Capitol Police investigated 7,501 threats against members of Congress. While that number represented a decrease from threats compared with 2020 and 2021, Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said threats against lawmakers “are still too high.”
Last October, in a politically motivated incident, a man attacked then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul, with a hammer in the Pelosis’ San Francisco home. Authorities said the attack was spurred by far-right conspiracy theories.