Paul Pelosi, a businessman and husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), was assaulted by a man armed with a hammer during a home break-in in San Francisco early Friday morning. Police arrested the suspect and Pelosi was rushed to the hospital.
During a San Francisco Police briefing, San Francisco Police Chief William Scott outlined what had happened. According to the SFPD, Capitol Police, and other officials, an assailant armed with a hammer entered the Pelosi residence early on Friday morning through the back of their house. While security personnel are present when Speaker Pelosi is in town, she was in Washington, leaving her husband there alone.
Special agents from the U.S. Capitol Police’s California Field Office and SFPD officers quickly responded to calls of the break-in. However, before they could arrive, the man started shouting “Where is Nancy? Where is Nancy?” several times. Paul Pelosi confronted the suspect, who then proceeded to try and tie him up “until Nancy got home.”
However, things quickly escalated, and when law enforcement officials arrived they saw the suspect assaulting Pelosi with a hammer. The officers quickly tackled the suspect, and immediately arrested him. Pelosi, meanwhile, was given immediate aid by the officers and was sent to the hospital for surgery, with Speaker Pelosi’s office saying that he is expected to make a full recovery.
“Early this morning, an assailant broke into the Pelosi residence in San Francisco and violently assaulted Mr. Pelosi,” said Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Speaker Pelosi in a statement on Friday. “The assailant is in custody and the motivation for the attack is under investigation. Mr. Pelosi was taken to the hospital, where he is receiving excellent medical care and is expected to make a full recovery. The Speaker was not in San Francisco at the time. The Speaker and her family are grateful to the first responders and medical professionals involved, and request privacy at this time.”
At the SFPD press conference, Chief Scott said that the motive for the attack is still under investigation, but that the suspect had been identified and that he will be “booked at San Francisco county jail on the following charges: attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, verbal and several other additional felonies.”
In addition to the SFPD and Capitol Police, the FBI, U.S. Attorney’s office, and the San Francisco district attorney’s office will be investigating the break-in and attack.
The suspect, a 42-year-old Canadian man named David DePape, had been in California for around 20 years prior to the attack and allegedly posted about multiple conspiracy theories on social media ranging from the January 6th storming of the Capitol to the COVID-19 pandemic to religious claims that “Jesus was the anti-Christ.” While not much else is currently known about him, more is expected to come out in the coming days.
Paul Pelosi attacked in San Francisco home
Lawmakers from both parties expressed shock and disgust with the attack on Friday, with some of Pelosi’s most ardent opponents and critics, such as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), extending heartfelt messages to Speaker Pelosi and her family.
“This was a horrific and scary incident. I have reached out to Speaker Pelosi to offer my support to her and her family. I want to thank the San Francisco Police Department and the San Francisco Fire Department for their quick response to this incident,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed in a short statement on Friday. “The Police have the suspect in custody, and as we have more information to share, we will do so.”
Vice President Kamala Harris tweeted early on Friday that “Doug and I are appalled by the attack on Paul Pelosi, Speaker Pelosi’s husband. The entire Pelosi family is in our hearts and we wish him a speedy recovery.”
Doug and I are appalled by the attack on Paul Pelosi, Speaker Pelosi’s husband. The entire Pelosi family is in our hearts and we wish him a speedy recovery.
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) October 28, 2022
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell sent a similar tweet, stating that he was “Horrified and disgusted by the reports that Paul Pelosi was assaulted in his and Speaker Pelosi’s home last night. Grateful to hear that Paul is on track to make a full recovery and that law enforcement including our stellar Capitol Police are on the case.”
Horrified and disgusted by the reports that Paul Pelosi was assaulted in his and Speaker Pelosi's home last night. Grateful to hear that Paul is on track to make a full recovery and that law enforcement including our stellar Capitol Police are on the case.
— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) October 28, 2022
While the news is still breaking and more details are expected later today and through the next several days, many in San Francisco noted that the assault will likely be used as further evidence to show the level of which San Francisco’s crime problem has reached in recent years.
“First off, the attack was horrific, and no matter where you stand politically you have to be horrified by what happened,” expressed Frank Ma, a former policeman and security consultant in the city, to the Globe on Friday. “But while this is investigated and worked out, this is also going be used to point out how dangerous things have gotten in the city. You know, you hear about assaults on the street all the time, but now the husband of the Speaker of the House was attacked in his home in one of the wealthiest areas of the city. I already got a few calls from more wealthier clients asking what they can do to prevent this from happening to them and you can bet a lot of people tonight are going going to be checking their locks more than usual or making sure they set their security codes again for the night.
“Pelosi is getting a lot of support from everyone right now, which is good and expected, but this is really going to help shape the issue of crime in the city as well. The attack may have been political, but it is also underlying just how bad things have gotten in the city too.”
Pelosi, who most recently made the news for being jailed following a DUI earlier this year, is expected to make a full recovery. More information about the suspect is expected to be released soon.
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