Rep. Cuellar Emphasizes Need to Support Law and Order After Carjacking


Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) speaks to reporters a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on July 30, 2021. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar (Texas), who was carjacked at gunpoint on Monday, stressed the importance of law and order, as he described the nation’s capital as “two or three times more dangerous” than his border district in Texas.

Mr. Cuellar was carjacked outside his apartment in Navy Yard in Southeast Washington late Monday.

“This happened less than a mile away from the Capitol,” he told Fox, adding that many other lawmakers, including Democratic House Leader Hakeem Jeffries, live there.

“Three guys came out of nowhere, and they pointed guns at me,” he continued, explaining the perpetrators were only after his car. “I looked at one with a gun and another with a gun … So they said they wanted my car, and I said ‘sure’.”

Mr. Cuellar’s car was recovered the same night, but the three carjackers are still on the loose.

When asked whether Washington is safe, Mr. Cuellar responded: “I’ve always said when I talk about the border, that there is an immigration crisis there. But I would say that when you look at the numbers of murders, rape, assaults at the border—let’s say in Laredo, Texas—I’ve always said that Washington is about two or three times more dangerous, and we certainly see it now.”

Mr. Cuellar is the second House Representative to fall victim to a felony crime in Washington this year. In February, Democrat Rep. Angie Craig was assaulted in an elevator in her apartment building but managed to get away with some bruises.

A month later, one of Sen. Rand Paul’s staffers fared far worse when he nearly lost his life in what appeared to be a random stabbing attack.

“You know, I’ve got three brothers who are peace officers,” Mr. Cuellar said. “I’ve always supported law enforcement. I think it’s important that we support law enforcement because a society without law and order is not a society.”

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) gives an interview in Laredo, Texas, on Oct. 9, 2019. (Veronica Cardenas/JP)

Mr. Cuellar said he believed some Democrats have gone too far in supporting the anti-law enforcement movements.

“I don’t believe in defunding the police,” he added. “I voted against what the Washington, D.C., Council did to lower penalties. I think that’s a wrong direction. I was one of 30 Democrats [who] don’t feel that you affect crime by lowering the penalties. You ought to increase the penalty.”

‘3 Young Punks With Guns’

The congressman quipped about the incident, joking that the worst part was having his sushi stolen—and how his karate training helped him to assess the situation and stay calm. “I took the situation, I analyzed it. I took a calm way, because you don’t want to get three young punks with guns. You never know what they’re going to do,” he said.

The congressman thanked Capitol metro police for retrieving his car within 90 minutes by tracking his phone.

Washington recorded 216 homicides this year, a 38 percent increase compared to the same 12-month period last year. Vehicle theft more than doubled—from 2,640 to 5,890.

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