Two injured, including intern, man detained in baseball bat attack at Virginia lawmaker’s office

FAIRFAX, Va. — A man with a metal bat entered the office of Rep. Jerry Connolly of Northern Virginia on Monday, sought him out and beat two employees, including an intern on his first day of work, with the bat. Work, police and lawmakers said.

The raids marked a recent uptick in violence targeting parliamentarians and those close to them.

Officers arrived minutes later and took the man into custody, according to Fairfax City Police. Two employees were injured, but their injuries were not life-threatening.

The veteran Democratic congressman, who was not in the Oval Office at the time, said in an interview that the suspect was known to Fairfax County police, adding: It was an unexpected, unexpected and inexplicable event,” he added.

“There is no reason to believe his motives were political, but it is possible that the kind of toxic political environment we all live in made him angry. “It’s time to be careful what we say and how we say it,” he said.

Connolly said the two women who were attacked—the intern was hit in the side and the outreach director in the head—have been treated and discharged.

US Capitol Police and Fairfax City Police have identified the suspect as Xuan Kha Trang Pham, 49, of Fairfax. He was being held without bail at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center on charges of aggravated bodily injury and aggravated bodily injury. It was not immediately clear whether he had a lawyer with him.

“It is not clear at this time what the suspect’s motives were,” Capitol Police said in a statement announcing the joint investigation with Fairfax City Police.

Police said the man was suspected of another attack shortly before Monday.

At 10:37 a.m., a man identified as Pham approached a woman’s car parked about five miles from Connolly’s office, Fairfax County Police said. asked, “Are you white?” according to the police. She didn’t hurt the woman.

Footage captured by a nearby residential camera system showed a man chasing a woman with a baseball bat at the scene where police said the previous incident had taken place. A woman’s screams are heard in her, and a man follows her up a small hill before she gives up and turns around. Homeowner Dan Ashley said, “It’s worrying to see things like this happening in our neighborhood.”

Pham’s father, Hai Pham, told The Washington Post that his son has schizophrenia and has suffered from mental illness since his late teens.

Hai Pham told the newspaper that she tried unsuccessfully to arrange mental health care for her son. The Associated Press was unable to reach his father immediately.

In May 2022, a person whose name and locality matched Suanker Pham filed a lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency in federal court.

Plaintiff, in his handwritten complaint, alleges that the CIA “wrongfully imprisoned me in a low vantage point” and “consistently, from 1988 to the present day, brutally tortured me with degenerative disorders from the fourth dimension.” claimed.

In a statement, Fairfax County police said they were dispatched to their home in Fairfax last year after a man called them “wanting to harm others.” The statement added that Pham assaulted officers and tried to steal their firearms, while they suffered minor injuries.

Pham was taken into custody and charged with assaulting a law enforcement officer who resisted arrest and attempted to disarm the officer. These charges were eventually dropped.

An official with the Fairfax County U.S. Attorney’s Office, who spoke on condition of anonymity because Pham is in an ongoing criminal case, said the charges stemmed from a mental health crisis and that the defendant has been identified. It said the charges were dropped because it entered into an agreement to guarantee its receipt. mental health treatment. The person was eligible for treatment for nine months from his arrest in January until the charges were dropped in September.

Public Relations Sergeant of the Fairfax City Police Department. Lisa Gardner said police received a call about an attack at Connolly, Virginia’s office around 10:50 a.m. Monday. Gardner said police arrived in about five minutes, found the suspect inside the office, and took him into custody. One police officer suffered minor injuries and received medical treatment.

Connolly is a Democrat currently serving his eighth term in the House of Representatives and represents the 11th District, based in Fairfax County, Virginia, just outside Washington. He said an office window was smashed during the incident.

Other Virginia lawmakers also condemned the violence, including Senator Mark Warner.

Warner retweeted Connolly’s statement, calling the attack “an extremely disturbing development.”

“Intimidation and violence, especially against civil servants, should not exist in our society,” he said.

ever since Attack on the Houses of Parliament on 6 January 2021, threats against lawmakers and their families have surged. The U.S. Capitol Police will investigate about 7,500 cases of potential intimidation of lawmakers in 2022. It investigated about 10,000 cases of intimidation of lawmakers in the previous year, more than double the number four years ago.

In October, a man broke into then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home and demanded to speak to him. She hit her husband Paul in the head with a hammer. Two injured, including intern, man detained in baseball bat attack at Virginia lawmaker’s office

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