The man who allegedly assaulted Rep. Angie Craig in her Washington, DC, apartment last week made his initial appearance in federal court Monday.
Kendrid Hamlin was charged last week with assaulting a member of Congress. During a brief public hearing at DC District Court, Hamlin did not enter a plea. The court scheduled a detention hearing for him for Wednesday, and he’ll remain detained pending that hearing.
In a memo asking the judge to continue to detain Hamlin pending trial, the Justice Department laid out the defendant’s lengthy criminal history and failure to show up to multiple recent court hearings, saying the pattern provides “overwhelming evidence of his risk of flight.”
The government also said that Hamlin “reported to be experiencing housing insecurity, and the circumstances of the case demonstrate that he is essentially living on the street. Thus, his current living circumstance is not conducive to monitoring or another such condition that would ensure his future appearances at court proceedings.”
If convicted, Hamlin faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.
According to court documents, Craig, a Minnesota Democrat, noticed Hamlin walking around inside the lobby of her apartment complex on the morning of February 9. After Craig entered an elevator, swiped her building access card and selected a floor, Hamlin stopped the elevator from closing by sticking his hand through the door, court documents say.
Hamlin told Craig he needed to come to her apartment to use the restroom and, after Craig told him no, Hamlin “stood in front of the elevator door, blocking the Representative from exiting the elevator, and hit buttons on the keypad.”
When Craig tried to move past him, Hamlin allegedly punched the congresswoman in her face and held her from reaching the elevator keypad, court documents say, grabbing her collarbone.
Craig then threw a cup of hot coffee she was carrying at Hamlin, according to court documents. Hamlin then let go of the congresswoman, who was able to leave the elevator when the doors opened and yell for help, court documents say.
“After the assault, the Representative spoke to law enforcement agents and described her assailant as an African-American male wearing no shoes, a white hospital mask, and grey sweatpants with a distinctive black marking,” according to the statement of offense.
Hamlin was arrested that afternoon based on the description Craig provided as well as surveillance video from the apartment complex.
The day after the incident, Craig said in a statement: “My morning coffee really saved the day yesterday, but not exactly how I expected it to. On a serious note, I will also say that I was very, very lucky that I was not more injured – and I’ll have more to say about that soon.”