The man accused of attacking two female staffers for Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) on Monday reportedly has a long history of mental illness, according to the man’s father.
Xuan Kha Tran Pham, 49, was arraigned Tuesday in Fairfax on charges stemming from an incident where he allegedly attacked the two staffers with a baseball bat, the Associated Press reported. He was also charged in connection with a hate crime for a separate incident an hour earlier where he allegedly bashed a car windshield and chased a woman after asking her if she was white.
Tran Pham’s father, Hy Pham, told The Washington Post that his son has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and that he has battled mental illness since he was a teenager. Hy Pham said that his son is not married and could not hold down a job because of his condition, which the Associated Press described as being “untreated.”
Hy Pham added that he has tried to get his son help, but has not been successful.
Tran Pham has been charged with aggravated wounding, malicious aggravated wounding, felony destroying property, and a misdemeanor hate crime.
The reports said that Tran Pham has had previous incidents with law enforcement, including as recently as last year when a police officer who was responding to a call involving him sustained minor injuries.
He filed a lawsuit against the CIA last year, claiming that the spy agency was torturing him “from the fourth dimension.”
The U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) said in a statement, “At approximately 10:49 a.m. on Monday, May 15, a man entered Representative Connolly’s District Office. Two Congressional staffers were assaulted with a metal bat and received non-life threatening injuries. Congressman Connolly was not in the office at the time of the assaults.”
“The Fairfax City Police Department responded and arrested the suspect. At this time, it is not clear what the suspect’s motivation may have been. Based on what we know right now, investigators do not have any information that the suspect was known to the USCP,” the statement added. “Special Agents with the United States Capitol Police Threat Assessment Section were dispatched to Fairfax, Virginia. The Department simultaneously coordinated with our partners at the Fairfax City Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Washington Field Office.”