A staffer for Democratic Rep. Sandy Levin of Michigan was placed on unpaid leave after he was arrested for allegedly choking a man, threatening him with a knife and hitting him with a shovel, authorities said.
Rep. Levin's online communications director, Tim Foster, allegedly got into a verbal argument with a man who identified himself as Foster's boyfriend at about 12:30 a.m. last Thursday in Baltimore, according to Baltimore police.
A phone number could not be found for Foster, and court records do not list an attorney for him.
Foster allegedly put the other man in a chokehold and told him, "I want to kill you, die dirty faggy," according to police. After releasing him from the chokehold, Foster was accused of grabbing a stainless steel kitchen knife, threatening to stab the man and lunging at him with the knife.
While Foster, who is married to a woman, was threatening the other man with the knife, his wife got in the way and the knife dropped to the floor, police said. The other man then attempted to leave, but Foster struck him in the upper back with a shovel before he was able to get to his car and flee.
The victim drove to Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore for treatment for abrasions and bruises on his upper back, neck and torso, police said.
According to LegiStorm, Foster has worked for Rep. Levin since 2008, starting as a staff assistant and then working as a legislative correspondent before becoming the online communications manager in 2013.
Levin's office says Foster was placed on unpaid leave last Friday. Levin's chief of staff, Hilarie Chambers, told The Associated Press the issue is "a completely private matter."
The incident was first reported by CQ Roll Call.