Body Cam Footage of Paul Pelosi's Attack Released, Showing Moment Assailant Lunged at Him with Hammer
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Body cam footage from the moment Paul Pelosi was attacked in his San Francisco home in October has been released, along with a recording of Paul's 911 call.
The Oct. 28 video began with police officers approaching the home of Nancy and Paul Pelosi and knocking on the front door. While waiting outside, they're heard questioning if they have the right house until the door swings open.
Paul and the alleged home invader, named as David DePape in prior reports, froze for a few moments in the doorway, both gripping the same hammer. Paul, who appeared stunned, said "hi" to the officers after they questioned what was going on, to which the other man said, "Everything's good."
Police then told the man to drop the hammer. "Nope," he replied. Within seconds, the man then wound up his arm and attacked Paul in front of the policemen, who swiftly moved in and tackled the assailant to the ground.
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Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty
Audio from a 911 call Paul made prior to the attack was also released on Friday. When the dispatcher answered, there was a pause as they asked Paul whether he needed help. "There is a human here just waiting for my wife to come back," Paul responded, adding, "Nancy Pelosi."
"He's just waiting for her to come back, but she's not going to be here for days, so I guess I'll have to wait," Paul continued.
When they asked if he needed medical help, he answered, "I don't think so, I don't think so," and then asked for the Capitol police. "They're usually here at the house, protecting my wife," he added.
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Some muffled exchanges between Paul and the intruder are heard on the line, prompting the dispatcher to ask if Paul knows the person. "No, I don't know who he is," Paul said.
Moments later, the man believed to be DePape can be heard saying, "My name's David" and identifying himself as a friend of the Pelosis.
The dispatcher informed Paul that he can stay on the phone with him. "No, he says he wants me to get the hell off the phone," Paul said, then the call ended.
Andrew Harnik/AP/Shutterstock Paul Pelosi
After the footage and call were released Friday, Nancy said that she has no plans to review them. "I have not heard the 911 call. I have not heard the confession. I have not seen the break in and I have absolutely no intention of seeing the deadly assault on my husband's life," she said, according to CNN's Manu Raju.
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According to the initial report prior to the footage getting released, the suspect allegedly broke into the Pelosis' Bay Area home in search of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was in Washington, D.C. at the time.
Authorities responding to the 911 call from the home said they arrived around 2:30 a.m. Friday to find Paul and DePape struggling over a hammer. According to police reports, DePape gained control of the tool and assaulted Paul with it in front of the officers before being tackled and taken into custody, just as the footage showed.
Paul, who suffered a fractured skull and other serious injuries, successfully underwent surgery to repair his skull on the day of the attack.
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That same day, San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins formally charged the suspect with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, residential burglary, false imprisonment, and threatening the life or serious bodily harm to a public official.
"DePape will be held accountable for his violent and depraved attack, and we will prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law," Jenkins tweeted after the charges were announced. "When citizens of our city suffer as victims of crime, we will hold perpetrators accountable for their actions and work to deliver justice for all."
DePape was also charged with two federal felonies: assaulting an immediate family member of a federal official and attempting to kidnap a federal official.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him. If convicted in both cases, he faces decades in prison.
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In a criminal complaint released by the Department of Justice, a special agent with the FBI laid out justification for the federal charges against DePape.
The complaint suggests that DePape entered the home with plans to hold the House speaker hostage, break her kneecaps if she did not cooperate, and use her to set an example to other Democratic lawmakers. The evidence comes from a taped interview with the suspect himself, in which he described his plans and actions to San Francisco police officers.
"In the course of the interview, DePape articulated he viewed Nancy as the 'leader of the pack' of lies told by the Democratic Party," the complaint reads. "DePape also later explained that by breaking Nancy's kneecaps, she would then have to be wheeled into Congress, which would show other Members of Congress there were consequences to actions."
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One thing the intruder seemingly didn't consider was whether Nancy, who spends much of her time working in Washington, D.C., would be home. She wasn't, foiling his supposed plan and allegedly sparking chaos as he scrambled to figure out what to do about her husband, Paul, also 82.
"DePape explained that he did not leave after [Paul's] call to 9-1-1 because, much like the American founding fathers with the British, he was fighting against tyranny without the option of surrender," the complaint reads. He allegedly told officers that he was willing to go "through" Paul if needed.
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Nancy released a statement at the time that read, "Our children, our grandchildren and I are heartbroken and traumatized by the life-threatening attack on our Pop." She traveled to San Francisco to be with her husband after news of his injuries broke.
Hillary Clinton tweeted about the incident as conspiracy theories flooded the internet following the alleged attack.
"The Republican Party and its mouthpieces now regularly spread hate and deranged conspiracy theories. It is shocking, but not surprising, that violence is the result," Clinton wrote, posting an L.A. Times article on DePape, who has been labeled as a far-right, QAnon promoter. "As citizens, we must hold them accountable for their words and the actions that follow."
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Also weighing in on the attack and accused of spreading misinformation, Elon Musk tweeted to Clinton that "there is a tiny possibility there might be more to the story than meets the eye," AP News reported, noting that Musk had suggested a personal relationship between the two men.
DePape, known as a former pro-nude activist in the LGBTQ circle, is reportedly a familiar face in San Francisco scene, with openly gay California state Sen. Scott Wiener saying that he had "been aware" of DePape "for a long time."