August 21st, 2007
09:03 AM ET
11 years ago

Congressman faces assault and battery charges

Filner, above, has been charged with assault and battery.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Rep. Bob Filner, D-California, faces misdemeanor assault and battery charges related to an incident that occurred Sunday night at Dulles Airport, where he allegedly pushed a United Airlines baggage claim worker.

"The individual allegedly attempted to enter an area authorized for airline employees only, pushed aside the employee's outstretched arm and refused to leave the area when asked by an airline employee," said Courtney Prebich, assistant media relations manager for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), in a written statement.

"When MWAA officers arrived a few minutes later, the man had left the office and was waiting in the area of a bag carousel.

"Officers interviewed him and witnesses and released him. Before the individual left the airport, officers advised him that the airline employee would be pursuing charges."

The airline employee appeared Sunday night before a Loudoun County magistrate and a summons was obtained charging the 64-year-old, eight-term congressman with assault and battery, a class 1 misdemeanor.

Filner is scheduled to appear Oct. 2 in Loudoun County General District Court.

Filner's press secretary did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Chris, Hagerstown, MD

    The legal definition of assault is any unwanted physical contact. Period. As to why he was not arrested, if VA law is similiar to MD law then a misdemeandor offense has to occur in the officer's presence for an on-view arrest; otherwise information is given to the victim and they must file the charge since the officer did not witness the offense.

    August 21, 2007 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  2. ChrisH Atlanta, Georgia

    Let's lock this guy up in the same cell as Cynthia McKinney of Georgia. Maybe they can take their anger out on each other.

    August 21, 2007 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  3. Jasper NH

    The US Congress commits assault and battery on the citizens of this country every day they are in session. Why is only the Filner case getting all this publicity?

    August 21, 2007 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  4. Cliff McLeod Tampa,Fl.

    Apparently,Mr.Filner has no consideration for the democrats he represents,we don't appreciate any democrat representing us acting undignified,even if he thinks he is correct in his actions!

    August 21, 2007 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  5. Evan Esteves: Boca Raton, Florida

    The partisan comments in this thread are just idiotic...Ethan & JA...I guess by your standards this guy represents democrats across the going by your 4th grader mentality, it would be safe to assume that Mark Foley represents republicans across the nation?

    August 21, 2007 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  6. pat, huntington, ny

    Since when does pushing someone's arm out of your way rise to the level of a crime? And how does this translate to all Democrats are bad people and we should vote for a republican? Airports are stress-factories – when was the last time anyone was in one? Considering how tempers tend to rise in them, an arm push is small potatoes folks.

    August 21, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  7. LandoftheFree

    A new poll shows Americans' approval of Congress sinking to an all-time low of 18%.

    And this is why..

    August 21, 2007 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  8. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca

    "Since when does pushing someone's arm out of your way rise to the level of a crime?" Pat ~ NY

    When you're an unauthorized person entering a restricted area in an airport. When the airline employee (doing their job) asks you to stop but you push them aside.

    But hey – this is "small potatoes". Those airline employees ought to just "get over it" and stop enforcing silly security measures, right Pat?

    August 21, 2007 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. James, NY, NY

    So Pat I guess you subscribe to the thinking that politicians should be to do as they please.

    This idiot took it upon himself to force his way into a restricted area. Anyone else who did this would have had to have been bailed out of jail. It is time for everyone to play by the same set of rules instead of politicians and celebrities using their "get out of jail free" cards.

    August 21, 2007 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  10. Jenn Brown, Beverly Hills, CA

    This is just like when the police beat up a girl at Reagan National Airport in DC. They assaulted this girl and gave her a serious brain injury and made her entire body black and blue.

    Then they arrested HER and charged her with a made up crime. You can be beat up by police and then have them charge you with a slew of imaginary crimes to cover up the beating, even if you are a law abiding citizen.

    I seriously doubt Congressman Filner, who has devoted his entire career to public service and was going to visit our troops in Iraq, assaulted anyone. Fly through Washington DC area airports at your own risk!

    August 23, 2007 04:49 am at 4:49 am |
  11. Steve, Arizona

    If this is "leading by example", then you and me are in plenty trouble.

    August 23, 2007 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
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