Man charged with attacking Minnesota congresswoman has history of arrests

The man accused of assaulting Democratic Rep. Angie Craig of Minnesota in the elevator of her Capitol Hill apartment complex has been accused of several menacing, sometimes violent, incidents in the Capitol Hill community since 2015.

Kendrid Hamlin, 26, is due to appear in federal court in Washington on Monday to face charges that he struck Craig in the face with a closed fist when she refused to let him into her apartment. A police affidavit said Hamlin also placed his hands on Craig’s shoulders to keep her from reaching the elevator keypad and grabbed the congresswoman’s collar bone, near her neck.

A CBS News review of court records shows nearly a decade of criminal cases involving Hamlin, who is believed to be experiencing homelessness. Several of the incidents and arrests occurred in particularly close proximity to the grounds of the Capitol.

In one case last November, police accused Hamlin of spitting blood at several Capitol Police officers during an altercation. According to a police affidavit, Hamlin was spotted by Capitol police lying on the ground on a sidewalk near the Capitol and taken to a hospital for medical care. The affidavit said Hamlin “became combative” with police while leaving the hospital and bit one officer, spit blood on others and kicked another in the groin.

Court filings indicate Hamlin pleaded guilty in the case and was sentenced to serve 35 days in jail. He was scheduled to be released about two weeks before his alleged attack against Craig.

Weeks before the November incident, Hamlin was accused of theft from a Capitol Hill supermarket, just north of the Senate. According to a police report, Hamlin filled a bag with frozen food and menthol cigarettes and bolted out without paying. Capitol Police reported finding the items in Hamlin’s possession when he was stopped outside. A spokeswoman for the Justice Department told CBS News the charges in the theft were dropped when Hamlin eventually pleaded guilty in the blood-spitting assault case.

Court records show Hamlin also pleaded guilty to engaging in a lewd, obscene sexual act while in northwest Washington late last year. Hamlin failed to appear in court, prompting a bench warrant for his arrest.

He has faced other bench warrants for failing to appear in court in cases originating in Maryland, Virginia and Washington dating back to 2017. His lengthy arrest record in Washington began in 2015 with a drug case in which he eventually pleaded guilty.

Attempts to reach a defense attorney for Hamlin were not successful.

In last Thursday’s incident, a police affidavit said Hamlin demanded that Craig let him into her apartment shortly after 7 a.m. so that he could use her bathroom and attacked her when she refused. The altercation ended when Craig threw coffee at Hamlin, police said. “As the doors opened on a floor, [Craig] exited and began to yell for help. Hamlin exited the elevator and ran down the stairs to exit the building,” according to the affidavit.

Craig returned to Minnesota after the assault and thanked her colleagues and constituents for their support in a statement on Friday.

“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,” Craig said. “I wanted to let everyone know that the outpouring of support from friends, constituents and colleagues has been overwhelming. From myself, Cheryl and our entire family, thank you.”

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