WASHINGTON – California Rep. Bob Filner was facing charges Monday for allegedly assaulting an airline worker at Dulles International Airport after becoming upset that his luggage had not arrived at a baggage carousel.
Filner, 64, is slated to appear in Loudoun County, Va., General District Court on Oct. 2. Court officials could not say whether the San Diego Democrat had been served the summons yet to show up on that date.
According to law enforcement officials, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police were called to the United Airlines baggage claim office at about 6 p.m. Sunday evening for a report of an incident with a passenger regarding his baggage.
"The individual allegedly attempted to enter an area authorized for airline employees only, pushed aside the employees outstretched arm and refused to leave the area when asked by an airline employee," according to airport police.
"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 police statement reads.
The statement says the airport worker filed assault and battery charges, a class 1 misdemeanor.
Filner is on his way to Iraq to see the troops, his office said in a statement late Monday, and will have a full statement when he returns.
"Suffice it to say now, that the story that has appeared in the press is factually incorrect and the charges are ridiculous," the statement reads.
A source familiar with the incident told FOX News that when Filner's luggage didn’t show up in the claim area fast enough, he allegedly stormed into the United baggage office and insisted on knowing where his bag was. The agent was working with another customer and told him to wait.
The source alleged that Filner refused to step back and when the worker told him to leave the office, he said, “You can’t stop me.” She replied: "No, but the police can.”
Filner allegedly pushed aside the agent's outstretched arm and proceeded into an area off-limits to customers, where another agent was on the line with police. The agent could be heard from the back room telling him, “You have to go.”
He supposedly responded: “I’m not going until I get my bag. You’re treating us like animals.”
As the Democratic lawmaker grappled with the police, his bags arrived. United Airlines issued a statement expressing regret over the incident.
"United regrets that the customer experienced a delay in claiming his bag. The safety and security of our employees and our customers is our number one priority, and we are fully cooperating with the authorities in the investigation into this incident," the statement reads.
Filner, a founding member of the Progressive Caucus, is chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, which has been dealing this term with post-traumatic stress disorder issues and veterans patient care in the wake of the Walter Reed Army hospital scandal, among other issues.
He is one of a handful of lawmakers who earlier this month opposed the Defense Department appropriations for fiscal year 2006.
The eight-term lawmaker faced considerable criticism in the four-candidate Democratic primary last year after a long-time rival accused him of corruption for supporting a Mexican water-treatment company that gave him large contributions. He also has paid his wife more than a half million dollars for campaign consulting, a practice that is legal.
FOX News' Molly Hooper contributed to this report.