Democratic Rep Henry Cuellar carjacked at gunpoint in Washington DC

Three armed men made off with the congressman’s car, phone, iPad and sushi dinner

Rachel Sharp
Tuesday 03 October 2023 09:40 EDT
Texas lawmaker carjacked in Navy Yard

Democratic Rep Henry Cuellar was carjacked at gunpoint in Washington DC on Monday night – with three armed men now wanted on suspicion of carrying out the attack.

The Texas congressman’s office released a statement saying that Mr Cuellar was confronted by the three unidentified suspects at around 9.32pm on Monday night.

The group allegedly held a gun to his head, reported Axios, before making off with the congressman’s car, phone, iPad and sushi dinner.

He was unharmed in the incident.

“As Congressman Cuellar was parking his car this evening, 3 armed assailants approached the Congressman and stole his vehicle. Luckily, he was not harmed and is working with local law enforcement,” his office said.

“Thank you to Metro PD and Capitol Police for their swift action and for recovering the Congressman’s vehicle.”

An alert from the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency said that the carjacking unfolded at the intersection of K Street and New Jersey Avenue in Southeast DC’s Navy Yard neighbourhood.

A search was launched to find three male suspects and recover the vehicle, according to the alert.

Mr Cuellar’s office said that law enforcement later recovered his stolen vehicle.

The incident comes at a time of rising violence and threats against lawmakers and just two years after Donald Trump supporters succeeded in storming the US Capitol in the January 6 riot.

In May, a 19-year-old suspect carrying a Nazi flag rammed a U-haul truck into security gates close to the White House and then made threatening statements about the building that President Joe Biden calls home.

Suspect Sai Varshith Kandula was arrested on charges of threatening to kill or harm the president, Vice President Kamala Harris or one of their family members.

Congressman Henry Cuellar carjacked in DC

Back in February, Democratic Rep Angie Craig was attacked inside the lift of her apartment building in Washington DC.

The Minnesota lawmaker escaped serious harm while the suspect, Kendrid Khalil Hamlin, pleaded guilty to charges of assaulting a member of Congress and assaulting law enforcement officers back in June.

This came after Paul Pelosi, the husband of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was the victim of a violent hammer attack at the couple’s home in California.

David DePape, a 42-year-old hemp jewelry maker, allegedly broke into the couple’s San Francisco home in the early hours of the morning searching for Ms Pelosi and struck 82-year-old Paul Pelosi over the head with a hammer.

Data from the Capitol Police revealed that the agency had investigated about 7,500 cases of potential threats against members of Congress in 2022.

While lower than the 9,600 threats recorded in 2021, it was twice as many as in 2017.

It is not clear if Mr Cuellar was targeted in Monday’s attack or if the carjackers knew the identity of the target of Monday’s attack prior to the carjacking.

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