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Prosecutors oppose release for man charged in lawmaker attack

Minnesota Democratic Rep. Angie Craig has said the man accused of attacking her had not been prosecuted fully in the past

Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn., on the House steps last year. A man who police say attacked her last month remains in custody in Washington.
Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn., on the House steps last year. A man who police say attacked her last month remains in custody in Washington. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A federal prosecutor reiterated the government’s opposition Thursday to releasing a man accused of attacking Minnesota Democratic Rep. Angie Craig last month in an elevator at her Washington, D.C., apartment building.

Kendrid Hamlin, who is charged with assaulting a member of Congress, appeared via video Thursday before a magistrate judge in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Hamlin, who is believed to be homeless, stepped inside an elevator in Craig’s apartment building, punched the congresswoman in the face and grabbed her collarbone, Capitol Police said in a document filed in the case.

Craig was able to flee after throwing a cup of hot coffee at him, police said in the document.

Officers located Hamlin, who had a distinctive scar on his face and was wearing clothing that matched surveillance footage, later that day, prosecutors said in a filing. He kicked one officer and bit a detective when police tried to arrest him, they said.

Hamlin remains in custody in Washington. On Thursday, Magistrate Judge Zia M. Faruqui said the defense was going to file a formal motion that Hamlin receive intensive inpatient treatment. But he said the government has some failure-to-appear issues with Hamlin.

A federal prosecutor outlined those concerns in a filing last month, saying there’s a “serious risk” Hamlin will flee prosecution.

“His criminal history, combined with his frequent, repeated and undeterred failures to appear at court hearings support a very clear finding that he is a serious risk of flight,” the prosecutor wrote.

Faruqui on Thursday said Hamlin has a “long road” ahead of him no matter what and set another hearing for next week.

Following the attack, Craig’s chief of staff said there’s no evidence the attack was politically motivated.

Craig has been critical of the criminal justice system’s past treatment of Hamlin.

“I got attacked by someone who the District of Columbia has not prosecuted fully over the course of almost a decade,” Craig said in an interview with CBS.

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