Police name suspect in assault of Paul Pelosi inside home, detail incident

Suspect asked 'where's Nancy?' when entering the speaker's home before assaulting her husband

Published: October 28, 2022 8:50am

Updated: October 28, 2022 10:01pm

The husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Paul Pelosi, was attacked at the couple's home in San Francisco early Friday morning.

A statement from the speaker's office said the assailant broke into the couple's residence and that Paul Pelosi, an investor, needed medical attention and is expected to make a full recovery. Pelosi underwent skull surgery on Friday, according to a local news report.

The incident was first reported by CNN. 

A spokesperson for the speaker said the assailant is in custody and a motive is being investigated. The speaker was not in San Francisco at the time.

In January 2021, Pelosi's home was vandalized with a pig's head and fake blood.

Paul Pelosi has been in the news recently as a result of his arrest for driving under the influence. He was sentenced to 5 days in jail.

According to law enforcement sources, the suspect reportedly yelled, "Where's Nancy?" when he entered the home. The suspect, David DePape, 42, reportedly attacked Mr. Pelosi with a hammer after wrestling it out of his hand. San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said DePape will be charged with "attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, burglary and several other additional felonies."

Some are speculating the attack was politically motivated. In a Friday update, San Francisco Police Chief William Scott did direct state a motive, but asserted that "This was not a random act. This was intentional. And it is wrong," per CNN. Scott further detailed that someone opened the door for police upon their arrival, without specifying who. Upon their entry, police officers witnessed Pelosi and the intruder struggling for the hammer. During the incident, a 911 dispatcher was able to interpret Pelosi's speaking in "code" through an open line and contact the authorities.

CNN was able to review DePape's Facebook page before it was removed. According to the news outlet, the suspect's page contained posts about 2020 election fraud claims from MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell and claims that the COVID-19 vaccine is dangerous. One post was titled: “Democrat FARCE Commission to Investigate January 6th Capitol Riot COLLAPSES in Congress!!!” 

The U.S. Capitol Police, FBI and San Francisco Police are engaged in a joint investigation into the break-in and assault.

Other political figures have been attacked in the recent past, including GOP Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who was assaulted by his neighbor in 2017. House Republican Whip Steve Scalise was shot in 2017 during a baseball game with other Republican lawmakers.

In 2011, then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, was among those shot during a meeting with constituents. The shooting claimed the lives of 6 people. Giffords survived.

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