Two employees of a US politician’s office were attacked by a man wielding a metal bat.
Democratic congressman Gerry Connolly reported that the man entered his office in northern Virginia on Monday morning and asked for him. He then hit two female employees with a bat.
The victims were an intern, on her first day of work, and an outreach director.
Fairfax City Police confirmed that officers detained the suspect minutes after arriving on the scene.
Mr Connolly was not present in his office. He is currently serving his eighth term as a member of Congress.
The injuries sustained by two of the staff members are not life-threatening.
The suspect, he said, was already known to the police. He added: “[The defendant] never threatened us before, so this was an unprovoked and unexpected attack.”
“I don’t believe his motivation is political, but the toxic political climate we live in could have set him off. I hope we can all take more care about what we are saying and how we say.
The suspect was identified as Xuan Kha Tran Pham (49), of Fairfax.
He was arrested without bail on charges of malicious injury and aggravated malice injury.
He’s also suspected of involvement in an earlier attack on the same date, when a woman sitting in her car was approached.
Police said that the attacker asked if the woman was white, then struck her windscreen on her car with a baseball bat and ran away. The woman was uninjured.
The video was taken by a neighbor’s camera. It showed a man chasing after a woman using a bat in the same place that the police claimed the incident had occurred.
Hy Pham, Xuan-Kha’s father, told the Washington Post his son had been suffering from mental illness and schizophrenia since late adolescence.
He said he had tried to get mental healthcare for his son but was unsuccessful.
Last year, the US Capitol Police investigated approximately 7,500 potential threats against members Congress.
The number of investigations in 2021 will be approximately 10,000. This is more than double the number that was investigated four years ago.
A man broke into Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco house in October last year, demanding to talk with her, before he attacked her husband with the hammer.