House

Prosecutors: Alleged Paul Pelosi attacker threatened to break Speaker’s kneecaps

Michael Short/San Francisco Chronicle via AP
David Depape is shown in Berkeley, Calif.,on Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. An intruder attacked and severely beat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer in the couple’s San Francisco home early Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, while searching for the Democratic leader. Police were called to the home to check on Paul Pelosi when they discovered the 82-year-old and the suspect, Depape, both grabbing onto the hammer, said Police Chief William Scott.(Michael Short/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

The man who allegedly assaulted Paul Pelosi told investigators he wanted to hold Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hostage and break her kneecaps if she “lied,” prosecutors said in charging documents filed on Monday.

Prosecutors charged David DePape, 42, with assault and attempted kidnapping on Monday after he allegedly broke into the Pelosis’ San Francisco home and attacked the Speaker’s husband with a hammer early Friday morning.

“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,” said the federal affidavit released Monday.

The affidavit alleges DePape told the San Francisco Police Department he went to the house to find the Speaker, who was in Washington, D.C., at the time, and hold her hostage unless she told the “truth.”

But if she “lied,” DePape allegedly told investigators he would break her kneecaps. The documents did not specify what exactly DePape meant but indicated he viewed Nancy Pelosi as the “leader of the pack” of lies told by her party.

The document alleges DePape told police he broke into the Speaker’s house through a glass door by using a hammer and found Paul Pelosi in bed, only to learn that his wife was not home.

DePape allegedly proceeded to take out twist ties from his pocket so he could tie Paul Pelosi up, and Paul Pelosi then went into a bathroom to call 911, the documents show. 

The affidavit also states DePape did not leave the home after the call because he was “fighting against tyranny without the option of surrender” like the American Founding Fathers battling the British in the 1700s.

When officers arrived, they allegedly found Paul Pelosi and DePape both holding a hammer with one hand, which DePape then pulled away before striking Paul Pelosi. 

Paul Pelosi was taken to a hospital and underwent surgery for a skull fracture. Nancy Pelosi said over the weekend that her husband’s condition was improving.

DePape was also booked on multiple state charges following the incident, including attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

The incident has drawn condemnations from both sides of the aisle, although some Republicans have placed blame on Democratic policies for emboldening would-be criminals.

Tags David DePape Nancy Pelosi Nancy Pelosi Paul Pelosi paul pelosi attack
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