Suspect arrested after attack on Minnesota congresswoman

Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives Angie Craig of Minnesota
Democratic U.S. Rep. Angie Craig of Minnesota, running for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2022 U.S. midterm elections, appears in an undated handout photo obtained by REUTERS on October 11, 2022. Angie Craig/Handout via REUTERS

WASHINGTON, Feb 9 (Reuters) - A homeless man was arrested on Thursday after an attack on U.S. Representative Angie Craig, who was left bruised after fighting off her assailant in an elevator of her apartment building, police said.

The suspect, identified by District of Columbia Metropolitan Police as 26-year-old Kendrick Hamlin, was charged with simple assault.

Craig's chief of staff, Nick Coe, said that Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota was bruised but "physically OK" following the attack, which did not appear to be politically motivated.

"At approximately 7:10 a.m. the suspect approached the victim, inside of an elevator, at the listed location," police said in a written statement, referring to Craig's apartment complex.

"When the victim defended themselves, the suspect fled the scene," police said. Hamlin was described as having no fixed address.

"Rep. Craig is grateful to the DC Metropolitan Police Department for their quick response and asks for privacy at this time," Coe said.

The lawmaker saw the assailant "acting erratic" and he seemed likely "under the influence of an unknown substance," according to a report filed with police.

The attacker grabbed the lawmaker's neck and also punched her in the chin, the report filed with police adds. Craig defended herself by throwing hot coffee at the attacker before he fled the scene, according to the report.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, a Democrat, said he spoke to Craig and said she was doing fine.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Bradley Perrett

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Kanishka Singh is a breaking news reporter for Reuters in Washington DC, who primarily covers US politics and national affairs in his current role. His past breaking news coverage has spanned across a range of topics like the Black Lives Matter movement; the US elections; the 2021 Capitol riots and their follow up probes; the Brexit deal; US-China trade tensions; the NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan; the COVID-19 pandemic; and a 2019 Supreme Court verdict on a religious dispute site in his native India.