Congressman carjacked in D.C. recounts the experience of facing assailants pointing guns while robbing him
“Three guys came out of nowhere and they pointed guns at me,” Rep. Henry Cuellar [D) told a group of reporters on Capitol Hill
The Congressman from Texas was carjacked Monday night in the Navy Yard area of Southeast Washington
Rep. Cuellar said the three robbers were armed and wore masks, but he could tell they were young men
With guns pointing in his face Cuellar surrendered his car and the contents
Addressing the media Cuellar thanked law enforcement noting that his car was recovered within two hours
Cops tracked his car and phone to catch up with the robbers
With guns pointing in his face Rep. Henry Cuellar [photo], surrendered his car and the contents to carjackers Monday night in the Navy Yard area of Southeast Washington DC
A congressman from Texas who was carjacked Monday night in the Navy Yard area of Southeast Washington DC said Tuesday that at least two of his three assailants pointed guns at him before taking his vehicle, which police later recovered.
“Three guys came out of nowhere and they pointed guns at me,” Rep. Henry Cuellar (D) told a group of reporters on Capitol Hill. “I do have a black belt [in karate], but I recognize when you have three guns — I looked at one with a gun, another with a gun, one behind me. So they said they wanted my car. I said sure. You’ve got to keep calm under those situations.”
Rep. Cuellar [D-TX], was carjacked by three armed men who took his car and the contents. Thanking law enforcement Cuellar said his car was recovered within two hours. Cops tracked his car and phone to catch up with the robbers within hours
U.S. Capitol police, the lead investigating agency, said no arrests had been made as of early Tuesday afternoon. In a statement, the agency described the assailants as wearing dark clothing, ski masks and knit caps, and appeared to be teenagers around the ages of 16.
“We have a number of leads,” U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said in a statement, noting D.C. police and the FBI are assisting. “Our investigators are focused, determined and working around the clock.”
Capitol Police said Cuellar’s cell phone was found in the 2000 block of 14th Street SE, in Anacostia, and his white 2019 Toyota Crossover, with Texas license plates, was found abandoned about a mile away on Douglass Street SE. Cuellar said police tracked the vehicle and his phone, which had been in his vehicle. He said his sushi dinner was recovered in the vehicle.
D.C. police said that a carjacking occurred about 9:30 p.m. Monday at New Jersey Avenue and K Street SE, about a mile south of the Capitol in a heavily redeveloped area. The intersection includes a hotel and an apartment building.
Dozens of lawmakers, Republicans and Democrats alike, live in the apartment and condominium buildings within a block of Monday night’s attack. An aide to Cuellar said that as the congressman was parking, “three armed assailants approached and stole” the vehicle. The congressman was unharmed, the aide said.
It was not clear whether the car’s Texas license plate identified the owner as a member of Congress.
In a statement, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said “there is no higher priority than the safety of our residents and those who work in and visit D.C.”
Rep. Henry Cuellar [D-Tex.], seen testifies during a House Rules Committee hearing regarding government spending legislation at the Capitol on Sept. 22, says he’s always been a staunch supporter of police, with three sons in law enforcement
Carjackings in the city are up about 109 percent compared to the same time last year, police data shows. In June, the city rocketed to 140 for the month, the highest number in a single month in at least five years. Overall violent crime is up nearly 40 percent in the District of Columbia compared to this same period in 2022.
Bowser said authorities “are using every tool available to reduce crime and support those tasked with enforcing the law and holding those accountable who break it.”
Cuellar is serving his 10th term in the House, representing a South Texas district that includes Laredo and San Antonio. Earlier this year, he joined Republicans in blocking D.C.’s criminal code revision legislation.