Virginia suspect with untreated schizophrenia charged in baseball attack on congressional staffers
A Virginia man suffering from schizophrenia was arraigned in court Tuesday on charges of attacking three women – including two staffers for U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly.
Xuan-Kha Tran Pham, 49, of Fairfax heard the charges by video hookup from the Fairfax County jail. A judge ordered him held without bond pending a preliminary hearing in July.
The four counts include aggravated wounding and malicious aggravated wounding in the attack at Connolly’s district office in Fairfax, and counts of felony destroying property and misdemeanor hate crime for an episode less than an hour earlier, when police say he hit a car windshield with the bat and chased a woman after asking if she was white.
Connolly, now in his eighth term, said an intern working her first day on the job was struck in her side and an outreach director was hit on the head. Both were released after hospital treatment.
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Threats to lawmakers have been on the rise since the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Last month, USCP Chief Tom Manger testified about the heightened climate across the country.
Connolly said Monday’s attack underscores “for all of us the vulnerability potentially of our district offices because we don’t have the level of security we have here on Capitol Hill.”
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A Fairfax police officer involved in detaining Pham Monday also received treatment, for a minor injury, police spokesperson Sgt. Lisa Gardner said.
Other officers sustained minor injuries in January 2022 when they responded to a call from Pham saying he wished to harm others, Fairfax Police said.
Charges of assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest and attempting to disarm a law enforcement officer were dropped in September after he complied with conditions requiring him to seek treatment, according to a person with the Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office who spoke on condition of anonymity because Pham now has an ongoing criminal case.
Pham’s father, Hy Pham, told The Washington Post his son was diagnosed with schizophrenia and has dealt with mental illness since his late teens.
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According to a May 2022 complaint, Pham sued the Central Intelligence Agency, claiming that the spy agency had tortured and imprisoned him “from the fourth dimension.”
Fox News’ Louis Casiano and The Associated Press contributed to this report.