Paul Pelosi was in bed when attack suspect on ‘suicide mission’ woke him with calls of ‘Where’s Nancy’

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Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was in bed when the man accused of attacking him broke into the couple’s San Francisco home and awoke him with calls of “Where’s Nancy”, according to prosecutors.

Gruesome new details of the “politically motivated” 28 October assault on the 82-year-old were revealed in a court motion filed by the San Francisco district attorney asking for 42-year-old suspect David DePape to be detained until future hearings.

“What’s clear is this case is vulnerable to misinformation," District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said outside the San Francisco Superior Court on Tuesday. “This was not a random act of violence and this was not a random residential burglary–he sought to come and harm the speaker of the house of the United States.”

Mr DePape pleaded not guilty to a litany of state charges, including attempted murder, residential burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, false imprisonment of an elder and threats to a public official and their family.

In addition to the state charges, Mr DePape is also facing federal charges of assault on the immediate family member of a federal official and attempted kidnapping of a federal official, as was outlined in a criminal complaint filed by an FBI agent in the US District Court for the Northern District of California on Monday.

Judge Diane Northway granted the district attorney’s request to detain Mr DePape until future hearings, in addition to signing a restraining order that prevents the accused attacker from coming within 150 yards of Ms Pelosi or her husband or having any other contact with the couple.

The court filing laid bare disturbing details of the early morning attack against Mr Pelosi, who was left with a fractured skull requiring surgery after he lay in a pool of his own blood for three minutes.

According to the grim account relayed by the DA’s office in their court filing, officers arrived at the Pacific Heights home of the Pelosis shortly after Mr Pelosi had placed a call to 911 after 2am.

A courtroom sketch of David DePape (REUTERS/Vicki Behringer)
A courtroom sketch of David DePape (REUTERS/Vicki Behringer)

Officers responding to the call rang the doorbell of the Democratic leader’s home, and Mr Pelosi – going against the instruction reportedly relayed by Mr DePape “not to open the door” – opened the front door with his left hand.

“As the door opened, the two men stood in the dimly lit foyer facing the officers,” the court filing reads. “Mr. Pelosi nervously but calmly greeted them. When the officer asked what was going on, [DePape] smiled and said, everything’s good and pulled his hands toward his body.”

An officer then reportedly turned his flashlight towards the two men and saw that Mr DePape was holding the bottom of a hammer with one hand and grasping onto Mr Pelosi’s right arm with his other free hand.

“Mr. Pelosi had his hand on the top of the handle near the hammer itself,” the report reads.

The officers then issued an order to, “Drop the hammer!” at the same time that Mr DePape reportedly said, “um, nope."

“A second later, Defendant wrenched the hammer away from Mr. Pelosi, immediately stepped back, and lunged at Mr. Pelosi, striking Mr. Pelosi in the head at full force with the hammer, which knocked Mr. Pelosi unconscious,” the report dramatically relayed.

Officers then moved in to tackle Mr DePape and disarm the hammer from his grasp.

David DePape reportedly told officers he came to the home of Nancy and Paul Pelosi so that he could ‘have a chat’ with the House Speaker (AP)
David DePape reportedly told officers he came to the home of Nancy and Paul Pelosi so that he could ‘have a chat’ with the House Speaker (AP)

“Mr. Pelosi remained unresponsive for about three minutes, waking up in a pool of his own blood,” the filing stated.

After medics had arrived at the scene, Mr DePape reportedly told officers that he was “sick of the insane f***ing level of lies coming out of Washington, DC,” and that he’d come to the Mr Pelosi’s Pacific Heights home that morning to “have a little chat with his wife.”

Mr DePape defended himself at the scene, according to the filing, and added that he “didn’t really want to hurt him, but you know this was a suicide mission.”

“I’m not going to stand here and do nothing even if it costs me my life. Hurting him was not my goal. I told him before I attacked him, that he’s escalating things, and I will go through him if I have to,” the filing read.

For his part, Mr Pelosi remains in hospital and, according to his son, Paul Pelosi Jr he is responding to treatment.

“They are rebuilding him slowly,” Mr Pelosi Jr told reporters outside the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center on Sunday.

Addressing the assault in a tweet on Monday, Ms Pelosi said that the family were grateful for the “thousands of messages conveying concern, prayers and warm wishes”.

Mr DePape was charged in federal court with assault on the immediate family member of a federal official which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

He was also charged with the attempted kidnapping of a federal official, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, while the other six felony charges filed in state superior court carry sentences of 13 years to life in prison.