WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas was back at work on Tuesday after being carjacked the night before by three armed attackers less than a mile from the Capitol.
Cuellar said he was “good” and even joked about the frightening experience. He said the robbers “came out of nowhere, and they pointed guns at me.”
“I looked at one with a gun, another with a gun, and I felt one behind me,” he said. “They said they wanted my car, and I said, ‘Sure.’ You got to keep calm under those situations, and they took off.”
Cuellar’s chief of staff Jacob Hochberg released a statement Monday night saying: “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.”
Monday’s carjacking was the second assault on a member of Congress in the District of Columbia this year. In February, Democratic Rep. Angie Craig of Minnesota was assaulted in her apartment building, suffering bruises while escaping serious injury. Her chief of staff said the attack did not appear to be politically motivated.
Cuellar thanked the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department for their work, saying the “message is very simple: You’ve got to support law enforcement.”
Cuellar said the attackers were masked, but he could still see that they were young.
“They recovered the car, they recovered everything, but what really got me upset is they took my sushi,” he joked.
Cuellar spoke to reporters after attending a meeting with fellow Democratic members of the House. Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., said Cuellar was acknowledged by colleagues during that meeting, saying “we’re all grateful that he is safe.”
“It could have been so much worse,” Schneider said. “We just pray for him.”