Rep. Angie Craig threw hot coffee at assailant who struck her in elevator
Democratic Rep. Angie Craig, of Minnesota, threw a cup of hot coffee at an assailant who was striking her with his closed fist inside an elevator Thursday, according to an affidavit by U.S. Capitol Police. CBS News has learned that the suspect, Kendred Khalil Hamlin, is expected to appear in federal court Monday at 1 p.m., to face federal criminal charges.
The police affidavit said Hamlin pursued Craig to the elevator of an apartment complex near the Capitol on Thursday at 7:10 a.m. Craig, the affidavit said, greeted Hamlin with a "Good morning," and then swiped her access badge and pressed a button to select a floor. The police report said Hamlin told the congresswoman he needed to go to the bathroom and insisted he use the bathroom in her apartment.
"Before the doors closed, Hamlin stuck his arm between the door, preventing the door from closing, and stepped inside the elevator with the Representative," the affidavit said.
According to a court filing from the Justice Department, Craig refused Hamlin's request.
"Hamlin became agitated," the affidavit said. "Hamlin stood in front of the elevator door, blocking the Representative from exiting the elevator, and hit buttons on the keypad. When the Representative tried to move past Hamlin, he punched her on the left side of her face, striking the chin (and) mouth area with his closed fist. Hamlin then moved behind the Representative, placing his hand on her shoulders to keep her from reaching the elevator keypad. Hamlin also grabbed the Representative's collar bone, near her neck."
Craig threw a cup of coffee at Hamlin during the assault, according to the police affidavit. The Capitol Police report stated, "As the doors opened on a floor, the Representative exited and began to yell for help. Hamlin exited the elevator and ran down the stairs to exit the building."
A CBS News review of D.C. Superior Court filings shows charges were filed against a man with Hamlin's name in a Capitol Hill burglary case from a supermarket in Washington, D.C., in September, but the case was dismissed.
In a statement Friday, Craig said she is recovering at home in Minnesota, and she joked, "My morning coffee really saved the day yesterday, but not exactly how I expected it to," she said, adding, "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."
"Law enforcement officers viewed surveillance video recovered from the apartment building lobby," the affidavit said. "The video shows Hamlin, matching the Representative's description, entering the building just before the time of the assault and exiting the apartment building after the assault."
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