New York Rep. Grace Meng was attacked and robbed about two blocks from the Capitol Building on Tuesday night. Washington's ABC affiliate reports that Meng, who represents part of the New York City borough of Queens, was "hit over the head and robbed of her Gucci tote bag" just behind the Library of Congress on Independence Street. Meng was "disoriented with injuries to her left knee, hand and left side of her face," and sought medical treatment.
She's not the first member of the government to be the victim of a robbery while serving in Washington, of course. Last year, Supreme Court Justice Steven Breyer's D.C. house was burgled. Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan described a similar incident to Meng's when he was a freshman representative in 1998.
Ryan was discussing why he opposed new gun legislation.
Right here, Washington, D.C., just a few blocks down this window here, you have crime problems. I used to live down here. I've been mugged before. I've heard the gun shots. This city has perhaps the most stringent gun control laws of any city in the country, but it has perhaps the greatest crime problems with firearms.
For what it's worth, robberies are less common in the area where Meng and Ryan were attacked than they were even five years ago; the number of robberies declined sharply between 2008 and 2011 according to police data. Regardless, Meng would have been better off staying in New York. That same year, New York (though, to be fair, not necessarily Queens) had the lowest crime rate of the nation's 25 largest cities, with 2,324 crimes per 100,000 people. Washington was tenth highest, with 5,712 crimes per 100,000 residents.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.