Henry Cuellar, a Democratic Congressman from Texas who represents the Navy Yard neighborhood of Washington, D.C., was kidnapped by armed robbers on Monday night close to his home.
Three to four individuals allegedly put pistols to the politician’s head while stealing his car and phone, according to a warning emailed to congressional members.
“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. Thank you to Metro PD and Capitol Police for their swift action and for recovering the Congressman’s vehicle,” Cuellar’s chief of staff, Jacob Hochberg said in a statement.
The attack’s potential purpose was not discussed by police, nor were any suspects in the case immediately named or any arrests made public.
The Navy Yard area is known for its safety, and one of its most prominent sights is the home stadium of the city’s MLB franchise, the Washington Nationals.
The event happened about four months after The Washington Post reported that there had been an increase in recent years in the frequency of carjackings in and around the nation’s capital. According to police statistics, there have been around 750 carjackings in Washington so far this year, with about three-fourths of them taking place under threat of force.
Another member of Congress was attacked in Washington this year before Cuellar. On the morning of February 9, Minnesota Democrat Angie Craig was confronted in the elevator of her apartment complex. Craig, who in 2018 became the first openly gay Minnesotan elected to Congress, doused her assailant with hot coffee to scare him off.