US Congresswoman Angie Craig fends off attackers with hot coffee

1 hour ago

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Angie Craig represents part of Minnesota in Washington DC

A Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives repelled an assailant in his apartment building in Washington DC by pouring coffee on him, police said.

Minnesota Rep. Angie Craig was assaulted in an elevator Thursday morning by a man who may have been under the influence of drugs.

The incident does not appear to be politically motivated, officials say.

It comes amid a series of threats against US lawmakers. Last year, Congress approved funding for increased security.

Congresswoman Craig, representing an area in Minnesota, was attacked around 7:15 a.m. local time (1215 GMT) on Thursday, according to a statement from her chief of staff Nick Coe.

She “fought off the assailant and sustained bruising but is otherwise physically healthy,” the statement said, adding that she called 911 and “the assailant fled the scene.”

Mr Coe’s statement adds that “there is no evidence that the incident was politically motivated”.

According to a public incident report from the Metropolitan Police Department, Ms Craig told investigators that a person in the lobby of her building was behaving erratically and possibly under the influence of drugs.

As she boarded the elevator, the person followed her and “began to do push-ups indiscriminately,” according to the report.

The person also allegedly punched Ms. Craig in the chin and grabbed her by the neck.

She allegedly defended herself by throwing hot coffee at the attacker.

Lawmakers in Washington DC and Minnesota condemned the attack.

Democratic House Leader Hakeem Jeffries said the caucus was “appalled” by the attack.

“We are all very grateful that she is safe and recovering, but we are appalled that this horrific attack has taken place,” he said in a statement.

The Minnesota Democratic Party leader also released a statement saying he was “shocked and appalled” by the news.

“It’s a relief to hear that Rep. Craig’s injuries are not serious and I wish her a speedy recovery,” President Ken Martin said.

“I hope that the attacker will be quickly brought to justice,” he added.

Ms. Craig, 50, was elected in 2018 and serves Minnesota’s 2nd Circuit, an area south of the city of St. Paul.

The United States Capitol Police, tasked with providing security for lawmakers on Capitol Hill, said they investigated about 7,500 threats against lawmakers in 2022.

That’s down from 9,600 cases in 2021 and 8,600 in 2020.

A massive spending bill signed into law by President Joe Biden in December includes ways to increase security for lawmakers.


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