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Rand Paul aide suffers ‘life-threatening’ injuries after daytime stabbing attack, alleged suspect was out of prison 1 day


FILE – U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks during a committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul holds a commanding fundraising advantage over Democratic challenger Charles Booker heading into the final months of their top-of-the-ticket race in Kentucky. (Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times via AP, Pool, File)

A staffer for Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has been hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after an early evening stabbing attack in Washington, D.C.

Glynn Neal, 42, was arrested Saturday and charged with assault with intent to kill, Metropolitan Police announced. A probable cause affidavit from Metropolitan Police identified the victim as Phillip Todd.

Todd and a friend, identified in the affidavit only as “Barnard,” had just left the Sol Mexican Grill restaurant Saturday when the attack occurred at around 5:17 p.m. According to Barnard, Neal “jumped at them from behind a wall.”

Todd happened to be closer to Neal, the affidavit says, who “jumped on top of Complainant Todd and did a stabbing motion to Complainant Todd’s head.” Security video footage indicated that Neal was allegedly on top of Todd for around six seconds. Barnard apparently pushed Neal off of Todd and the two friends escaped eastbound on the 1300 block of H Street NE, less than two miles away from the U.S. Capitol building.

“Phil (Complainant Todd) got stabbed!” Barnard yelled, according to the affidavit.

After the altercation, Neal reportedly “casually stands up and walks away west in the 1300 block of H Street NE.”

Todd suffered several serious stab wounds, including a “puncture wound to the left side of his head, which penetrated the skull and likely caused an internal brain bleed.” He suffered a wound to his “lower left torso that was deep in nature,” puncturing his left lung, as well as a “minor puncture wound to the left chest.”

He was also stabbed in the left ear, which “may require reconstruction,” the affidavit says. Metropolitan Police said that he was “transported to a local hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries.”

He was still conscious, however, and able to speak with detectives.

“Complainant Todd does not know [Neal] and has no idea why [Neal] attacked him,” the affidavit says. Todd also told investigators that Neal “did not demand anything nor say anything to [Todd] prior to the attack.”

The affidavit says that Todd was set to undergo at least two surgeries, and his condition was listed as “Critical-Guarded-Stable pending further surgery.”

Two cellphones from the scene were taken with Todd to the hospital, the affidavit says. One belonged to Todd, and police tracked the other to Neal. Detectives located Neal at the address associated with the second cellphone, where the suspect apparently lived with his sister.

As investigators were interviewing the sister, Neal apparently came down the stairs, wearing the same clothes as what was seen on the security footage.

“Observed on Mr. Glynn Neal’s right pinky and upper right lip were injuries that appeared to have been caused recently,” the affidavit also notes.

After arresting Neal and reading him his Miranda rights, detectives asked the suspect what he did that day.

“Defendant Neal replied with words to the effect of ‘A voice was telling him that someone was going to get him for all the things he done. So he [Defendant Neal] was waiting right there to get the someone,'” the affidavit says.

The interview ended after Neal said he wanted to talk to a lawyer, the affidavit notes.

“This past weekend a member of my staff was brutally attacked in broad daylight in Washington, D.C.,” Sen. Paul said in a statement. “I ask you to join Kelley and me in praying for a speedy and complete recovery, and thanking the first responders, hospital staff, and police for their diligent actions. We are relieved to hear the suspect has been arrested. At this time we would ask for privacy so everyone can focus on healing and recovery.”

Federal records show that Neal had been released from prison one day before he allegedly attacked Todd. He had been sentenced in 2011 to more than 12 years behind bars in connection with forcing women into prostitution and threatening his girlfriend.

On Wednesday, Paul’s office released a statement from Todd’s parents, Chuck and Helen Todd, with an update on Todd’s condition and a request for privacy “so that we can focus on our son’s recovery.”

The statement continues:

He was randomly and brutally attacked by a person armed with a knife, who, according to the police report, attempted to kill him. The intervention of our son’s friend helped prevent the wounds from being fatal.

Our son is in a stable condition, having undergone trauma surgery to address the wounds in his body. He also has a fracture on his skull, which will be treated with non-invasive neurosurgery. He is expected to make a full recovery due to his young age and good health.

Our son and our family draw strength from our faith to see us through this challenging time. Phillip is conscious and alert and has repeatedly stated, “the joy of the Lord is my strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).

We are impressed with the professionalism of the Washington D.C. police department in capturing the attacker, with the EMS and first responders’ quick response at the scene, and with the staff at the hospital in treating our son’s injuries.

Most of all, we are impressed with the love and support of Phillip’s many friends, the Antioch Church, Washington D.C., his current and former colleagues, and even those Phillip doesn’t know personally.

We are thankful for Senator Paul and his Chief of Staff for making a personal visit to encourage Phillip, and Senate Chaplain Reverend Black for praying over Phillip, and everyone who has reached out with prayers and offers to help.

Our hope is that Washington D.C. continues to be the safe and beautiful city our son loves so much.

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