Officials still quiet on suspects in Rep. Boswell home invasion
Image has not been found. URL: http://images.americanindependent.com/gun_thumb.jpgDES MOINES — Sheriff’s Office officials in Decatur County are still mum on suspects in a home invasion that happened Saturday night at U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell’s (D-Iowa) farm, but the Sheriff said law enforcement has a “direction we’re heading in.”
Image has not been found. URL: http://media.iowaindependent.com/2009/06/boswell-speaking1.jpgThe attack happened around 10:30 p.m., as Boswell was getting ready for bed. His adult daughter, Cynthia Brown, of Denver, and his adult grandson were also in the house.
Suddenly, Boswell said, he heard a scream. Realizing the sound was coming behind him, he saw a man in a ski mask with a hand on Brown’s throat and a gun her face.
“I reacted like a father,” Boswell, a 77-year-old military veteran, said Monday. “That is my daughter. You’re not going to hurt my daughter.”
The two — Boswell and the masked man — tussled for the firearm. The Congressman suffered a cracked rib and scratches on his arm, he said.
“We’re thankful no one was killed,” he said.
The intruder fled after Boswell’s grandson, Mitchell Brown, appeared in the room with a loaded shotgun. The intruder fled on foot, Boswell and law enforcement said. The doors were unlocked at the time of the attack.
“He was asking for money, or he was going to shoot,” Boswell said.
Boswell and wife, Dody, reside in the capital city, but own a farm in rural Lamoni, and “slip down there on occasion, to check on the cows and kids and so on,” the Congressman said. Decatur County has roughly 8,600 residents, county Sheriff Herbert Muir said; Lamoni has about 2,300 residents, and the Boswell farmstead is just outside of town.
Muir remained vague on the investigation. When asked if there were suspects in mind, Muir first said, “I don’t know, we might,” then when asked again, replied, “We have a direction we’re going in… We’re still putting things together. There are things that we — at this point in time — we can’t talk about yet.”
It is unknown if there is connection between the attack and Boswell’s position in Congress, where he has been since 1997. The Sheriff’s Office is working with the FBI, and continue to treat it as a home invasion.
“I don’t know if he knew (I’m a member of Congress),” Boswell said.
Boswell said he does not know if he or the family knew the invader, but “I think he was there to commit robbery.”
Safety has been a heightened concern for federal lawmakers, in light of an assassination attempt on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz), a friend of Boswell’s. Giffords was shot in the head, and six others, including a child, were killed. She continues to recover from the trauma.
Boswell isn’t living fear, however, he said.
“We’re just going to continue on with our lives,” he said Monday.
Boswell grew up around guns, and has always kept them in his house “emphasizing safety… and how to do things right.” His views on firearms have garnered praise from groups such as the National Rifle Association, which gave him an endorsement during the last election cycle.
The responsible party may face federal crime penalties, though not necessarily, FBI Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Barry Ferguson, based in Des Moines, said.
“It’s way too early to be talking about charges, and whether they’re federal state or local,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson said in light of Giffords’ shooting, FBI agents have a “heightened sense of concern” for federal lawmakers, “but we always take these extremely seriously.”