Published September 04, 2007
WASHINGTON – California Rep. Bob Filner on Monday picked up a court summons to face an assault charge relating to an angry exchange at a Washington, D.C., area airport baggage claim last month.
Filner, a Democrat, was charged with assault after he stormed into a baggage claim office Aug. 19 at Dulles International Airport in Northern Virginia. A United Airlines baggage employee complained that Filner touched her when he pushed aside her arm to get past her. He also did not leave when asked to do so, an airport spokesperson claimed.
Filner was on his way with other lawmakers to Iraq. When he returned from Iraq, he issued a brief statement saying he regretted he incident.
"I was tired after a delayed flight and frustrated by the subsequent further delay of the entire flight's baggage. But I did not want things to turn out as they did, with offense obviously taken and much misunderstanding," the statement said.
"This is an episode that I regret and hope to move beyond."
Filner was back at Dulles Monday evening, flying in from San Diego to prepare for Congress' return from its August recess. A source said Filner, who was seated next to Republican Rep. Darrell Issa in first class on the flight, did not check any bags this time around.
Upon arriving at the airport, Filner voluntarily appeared at the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority Police office to receive his summons, which was issued last month.
Filner had earlier disputed accounts of the incident as "factually incorrect" and said the charges were "ridiculous," but he didn't elaborate on that in his statement.
The female employee, whom United declined to identify, did not require medical attention.
She filed assault and battery charges against Filner in Loudon County, Va. Filner is expected to appear in court in October.