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Chilling new details emerge in attack on Paul Pelosi


Richard Winton

The Department of Justice on Monday filed federal assault and kidnapping charges against David DePape, the suspect in a violent attack last week against Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

DePape is accused of breaking into the Pelosis’ San Francisco home early Friday and attacking Paul Pelosi with a hammer. Federal charges against DePape include assault on the immediate family member of a federal official and attempted kidnapping of a federal official. Additional charges are expected later in the day.

Meanwhile, chilling new details continue to emerge about the attack.

A source who was briefed on the attack said the assailant repeatedly shouted, “Where is Nancy?” after breaking in.

Police arrived on the scene after being alerted by a call from Paul Pelosi, who managed to conceal the call from his attacker.

A law enforcement source told the Los Angeles Times that the suspect arrived at the home with zip ties.

At a news conference Sunday, San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said DePape, 42, while looking for Nancy Pelosi, broke into the Pacific Heights home and made it to the second floor, where he confronted Paul Pelosi.

“It was a forced entry to the rear door of the home. … He ultimately made his way upstairs, where he confronted Mr. Pelosi,” she said.

Pelosi told the intruder that he had to use the bathroom, then made a surreptitious 911 call on his cellphone and left the line open, sources familiar with the attack told the Times. Dispatcher Heather Grives could hear Pelosi talking to his attacker and alerted officers to the scene.

In a communication between a dispatcher and a police car, the dispatcher says: “There’s a male in the home and that he’s going to wait for his wife.” The dispatcher said the man on the line “doesn’t know who the male is, but he advises that his name is David and then (said) he is a friend.” The caller, she added, “sounded somewhat confused.”

A law enforcement source in San Francisco said officials believe Pelosi was intentionally giving coded information because the intruder knew Pelosi was on the phone and wanted to signal to the dispatcher that something was wrong.

DePape was booked Friday afternoon on suspicion of attempted murder, first-degree burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, threatening a family member of a public official, elder abuse, battery with serious bodily injury, dissuading a witness and injuring a wireless device.

A Times review of his online accounts shows that DePape had been drifting further into the world of far-right conspiracies, antisemitism and hate.

Police have not offered a motive for the attack.

Paul Pelosi, 82, is recovering from surgery at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital “to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands,” said Drew Hammill, a spokesperson for Nancy Pelosi’s office. He is expected to recover fully.

“They’re rebuilding him,” his son Paul Pelosi Jr. told reporters Sunday at the hospital.


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