Footage of Hammer Attack on Paul Pelosi Is Released

San Francisco Superior Court
San Francisco Superior Court
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Dramatic body-cam footage of the infamous hammer attack on Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul Pelosi was finally made public Friday, shedding more light on what happened last October.

The clip was filmed by an officer who first responded to the violent break-in at the Pelosis’ San Francisco mansion.

Warning: the footage below is graphic

The four-minute 911 call made by Mr. Pelosi, security video of the break-in, and a portion of an interview between alleged attacker David DePape and investigators were also expected to be released Friday.

The release came after media organizations argued in court that the recordings should be available to the public—an argument Judge Stephen Murphy of the San Francisco Superior Court sided with Wednesday.

Both prosecutors and Adam Lipson, the attorney representing DePape, argued against the release, citing fears the footage would propagate conspiracy theories or affect DePape’s chances of a fair trial.

David DePape, center, pictured at the wedding of nudist activist Gypsy Taub in 2013.

David DePape, center, pictured at the wedding of nudist activist Gypsy Taub in 2013.

Michael Short/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Cops say the Oct. 28 attack on Mr. Pelosi, 82, was carried out by DePape, a hemp jewelry maker-turned-carpenter and COVID conspiracist who is nearly half Mr. Pelosi’s age.

Local prosecutors alleged in prior court filings that DePape snuck into the Pelosis’ house just after 2:30 a.m. and confronted Mr. Pelosi in his bedroom, demanding: “Where’s Nancy? Where’s Nancy?” He then threatened to tie up Mr. Pelosi after he tried to escape by elevator, telling him, “I can take you out,” the filing said.

Audio from Pelosi’s 911 call and a clip of body-cam footage was played in court last month. In the call, Mr. Pelosi can be heard saying, “There’s a gentleman here waiting for my wife to come back, Nancy Pelosi. I don’t know who he is…” Seconds later, another voice comes in on the call: “My name’s David.”

An officer’s body-cam captured him arriving at the scene. The officer could be heard asking DePape what’s going on, to which he responded, “Everything’s good.” The officer asked DePape to drop a hammer he and Mr. Pelosi were both holding, but DePape replied, “Uh, nope.”

Moments later, the footage captured DePape pull the hammer from Mr. Pelosi’s grasp and strike him with it repeatedly. The officer quickly tackled DePape as Mr. Pelosi laid unconscious on the ground. The officer, Kyle Cagney, testified in December that the ordeal happened in a matter of seconds.

Paul Pelosi attends an event in December, two months after the violent break-in.

Paul Pelosi attends an event in December, two months after the violent break-in.

Tom Williams/Getty Images

Prosecutors allege that Nancy Pelosi was DePape’s primary target, citing his alleged confession that he planned to break “'her kneecaps’” because she was “‘leader of the pack’ of lies told by the Democratic Party.”

As news of the attack spread, unfounded conspiracies about what happened ran rampant, including from Elon Musk and Donald Trump,—who speculated the attack was a set-up, orchestrated to make the conservatives look bad as DePape’s public persona was far-right.

Conspiracist Jim Hoft’s junk news site, The Gateway Pundit, claimed in since-deleted stories that DePape and Mr. Pelosi were lovers who got into a fight, a nonsensical theory also shared in a quickly-deleted tweet by Musk just days after he took over Twitter.

On a personal blog uncovered by The Daily Beast, DePape, who once lived with a famous Bay Area nude activist and battled drug issues, shared a series of extreme right-wing opinions and parroted QAnon conspiracy talking points.

Pelosi’s injuries required surgery “to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands,” Nancy Pelosi’s spokesman Drew Hammill said in November. Pelosi told CNN last week that her husband is “doing OK,” but it would still “take a little while for him to be back to normal.”

DePape has pleaded not guilty to six charges brought by the San Francisco District Attorney’s office, including attempted murder, and he faces a parallel proceeding in federal court. He faces life in prison if convicted of all charges.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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