Advertisement

U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings says he scared away home intruder; Trump tweets about incident, saying ‘Too bad!’

U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings said Friday that he scared away an intruder who broke into his Baltimore home last weekend by confronting and yelling at the man.

President Donald Trump alluded to the incident with a new tweet Friday morning: “Really bad news! The Baltimore house of Elijah Cummings was robbed. Too bad!”

Advertisement

Police previously said only that the home in West Baltimore’s Druid Heights neighborhood was burglarized on the morning of July 27. The burglary occurred just hours before Trump, a Republican, began a dayslong Twitter attack on the Democratic congressman and the city of Baltimore that continues to dominate headlines and cause ripples in political circles.

In response to queries, Cummings issued a statement Friday morning to The Baltimore Sun.

“An individual attempted to gain entry into my residence at approximately 3:40 AM on Saturday, July 27," the statement said. "I was notified of the intrusion by my security system, and I scared the intruder away by yelling before the person gained entry into the residential portion of the house. I thank the Baltimore Police Department for their response and ask that all further inquiries be directed to them.”

The White House offered no elaboration on Trump’s “Too bad!” tweet. In Twitter replies, supporters of Cummings assumed the president was being satirical, and criticized Trump for appearing to make light of a crime.

Later, when asked about his tweet, Trump told reporters at the White House “The tweet itself was just, really, a repeat of what I heard over the news. I know his house was robbed, and I thought that was too bad. That was really just — that was really not meant as a wise-guy tweet. I mean, his house was robbed and it came over the news at a certain moment last night. And I had just mentioned it.”

Over the past week, Trump has tweeted about Baltimore crime and rat infestation, complained about federal spending in the city and said elected leaders — and Cummings, in particular — aren’t doing enough. He called Baltimore "the number one city, proportionately, in the United States on crime. I saw a statistic where it’s worse than Honduras right now.”

Trump began tweeting about Cummings and the city shortly after 6 a.m. July 27.

“Rep, Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous. His district is considered the Worst in the USA......” the president said in one tweet.

In addition to drawing the president’s ire for his criticism’s of how federal immigration authorities treat detainees, particularly children, Cummings chairs the House oversight and reform committee that recently subpoenaed private communications records from White House officials, including Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.

State property records list the rowhouse as owned by the congressman and his wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, chairwoman of the Maryland Democratic Party. She did not respond to messages seeking comment.

A police report says Cummings and his wife were woken up at 3:40 a.m. July 27 by a motion-detecting security alert system at their home in the 2000 block of W. Madison Ave. A man had come in through an unlocked, exterior door that leads to an entryway, then got through a second, locked door to get further inside the building. Cummings and and his wife live on the first and second floor of the house, and there’s an apartment on the third floor, the report said.

Cummings “confronted the suspect and yelled,” the report said. His wife came downstairs to find the suspect leaving with a black bicycle, and she took pictures of the suspect with her cellphone, the report said. The suspect fled on the bike.

No property was reported stolen, the report said.

The couple described the suspect as a man in his early 40s; 5 feet, 8 inches tall, weighing about 170 pounds, and having a “dark brown skin complexion," the report said. He wore a dark T-shirt and khaki shorts, black tennis shoes with white ankle socks, and a “black fitted hat with a red upside down 'u' shape on the front,” it said.

Advertisement

The report said the couple did not call police immediately, but contacted Sgt. Leo Furman with the police department’s intelligence section at 8:30 a.m. Crime scene lab technicians later processed the scene for fingerprints.

Police could not determine if there were signs of forced entry because the fire department had damaged the door in a previous, unrelated incident and the damage wasn’t repaired, the report said. The report did not give further details of that incident.

Police said there are no Citiwatch cameras nearby. The building has a closed-circuit TV system, but Cummings’ wife couldn’t immediately access any images from it, the report said.

When asked whether investigators obtained copies of the cellphone photos of the suspect or security camera footage or if it would be released publicly, police spokeswoman Nicole Monroe said the investigation is ongoing.

“Maintaining the integrity of any investigation is paramount. The investigator will determine what, if anything, will be released to the public,” she said.

The House is in recess this week and Cummings has been doing events in the district. On Saturday, he’s scheduled to appear at a grand opening event for the Druid Heights Community Development Corp.’s new “Nature Play Space"— a new recreation area that was once a vacant lot used for dumping.

Anyone with information about the break-in is asked to call police at 410-396-2221 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7Lockup.

Baltimore Sun reporter Tim Prudente contributed to this article.

Advertisement
Advertisement