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Slapping a lawmaker leads to assault charge

SHARE Slapping a lawmaker leads to assault charge

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A 15-year-old may rue the day he tangled with a congressman.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., an advocate of public transportation, was waiting at a downtown train platform Jan. 17 when he saw the teen slap a man after he was refused a cigarette.

"I took out my cell phone like anybody else and called 911," he said Wednesday.

The teen then demanded the congressman's phone. When Blumenauer refused, the teen slapped him.

Blumenauer, 53, and another bystander identified the teen to police a few blocks away. The teen was charged with assault, and the police report said he was intoxicated.

Blumenauer credited citizen involvement and a quick response by Portland police and dispatchers.

"It was really just a textbook example of what you'd like to see the emergency response be," Blumenauer said.