Virginia congressman says person with baseball bat attacked staffers
▶ Watch Video: Rep. Angie Craig on the D.C. crime bill and the politics of public safety
Washington — Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly said a person armed with a baseball bat attacked members of his staff at his district office in Fairfax, Virginia, on Monday morning.
“This morning, an individual entered my District Office armed with a baseball bat and asked for me before committing an act of violence against two members of my staff,” the Virginia congressman said in a news release.
The person is in police custody and the two staff members were brought to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to Connelly.
“Right now, our focus is on ensuring they are receiving the care they need,” he said, thanking first responders for their quick response. “My District Office staff make themselves available to constituents and members of the public every day. The thought that someone would take advantage of my staff’s accessibility to commit an act of violence is unconscionable and devastating.”
Last year, the U.S. Capitol Police investigated about 7,500 cases of potential threats against members of Congress. It was a slight decrease from 2021, when there were 9,600 case, but the number of cases in 2021 doubled from four years earlier.
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries said in a statement that the safety of lawmakers and their staff “remains of paramount importance, particularly given the increased instances of political violence in our country.”
“I have asked the House Sergeant at Arms and the U.S. Capitol Police to continue their focus on collaborating with our Members,” he said. “We must collectively take every available precaution to protect Members and our staff, who serve the American people with patriotism and passion and deserve to do so without fear for their safety.”
The attack follows an assault on Rep. Angie Craig, a Minnesota Democrat, at her apartment building in Washington in February. Craig said a man, who has since been indicted, trapped her in an elevator, assaulted her and ordered her to let him into her apartment. She said she refused and threw hot coffee on him before escaping the elevator.
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul was seriously injured in a violent attack last October at the couple’s San Francisco home. Pelosi suffered a fractured skull and injuries to his arms and hands and had to undergo surgery after he was attacked with a hammer by an intruder who allegedly said he was looking to kidnap the then-House speaker, who was not home at the time.
A massive government spending bill passed in December included millions of dollars to bolster security for lawmakers in their home states and while in Washington.