Rep. Angie Craig calls for crackdown on repeat offenders after she was attacked in a D.C. elevator.
Democratic Rep. Angie Craig vowed on Tuesday to fight for tougher penalties for repeat offenders after she was attacked in the elevator of her Washington, D.C. apartment building last week by a deranged suspect with a long list of charges.
Kendrid Hamlin, who is believed to be homeless, allegedly punched Craig and grabbed her shoulder and collarbone during an attack early Thursday morning, authorities said. Later that night, he was arrested and charged with assaulting a congresswoman.
“I was number 13 on his track record,” Craig told CBS News on Tuesday. “And I will do everything in my power not to be 14 or 15 or 20.”
“If you throw someone in jail for 10 days and you think, ‘Here’s your punishment and we’ll let you out on the street again,’ what the hell do you think will happen?” she added.
Craig, who was cornered in an elevator by a suspect, recalled in an interview on Tuesday the moment she managed to fend off her attacker after he demanded to be let into her apartment.
“That was the moment when it was fight or flight,” Craig said.
“All I could do was throw my coffee over my shoulder, which scared him,” Craig said. “But as soon as he came to his senses, he returned to me, and again, only when we got to the floor where the elevator was heading, I was able to escape.”
Authorities say Hamlin kicked the officer and bit the detective when they tried to apprehend him.
Hamlin has a long history of committing violent crime just steps away from the Capitol building where Craig works, according to CBS News.
Last November, Capitol police found Hamlin lying on the sidewalk outside the Capitol building and he was taken to the hospital for treatment, where he became violent, biting one officer, punching another in the groin, and spitting blood on others. Hamlin pleaded guilty to the attacks and was sentenced to 35 days in prison.
He was also recently arrested on charges of assaulting a man at a train station and pleaded guilty to indecent exposure late last year.
Hours after the attack on Craig, the Republican-led House of Representatives voted 250 to 173 to repeal a revision of the D.C. penal code that reduced maximum penalties for burglary, auto theft and robbery. Craig joined 31 Democrats who voted in favor of the measure.
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