Paul Pelosi, who is married to Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, underwent surgery Friday after an intruder struck him with a hammer. The 82-year-old suffered multiple injuries, including a fractured skull. Doctors reportedly expect the patient to get better.
David DePape was the person who broke into the couple’s San Francisco home yelling, “Where’s Nancy, where’s Nancy?” He was looking for the Democratic chairwoman.
When the attack happened, Chairwoman Nancy was in Washington. She ran back to the hospital where her husband was being treated for his injuries.
DePape was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, abuse of persons, and burglary of a house. Police sources say DePape targeted Pelosi’s home, although no one knows why.
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People who know the 42-year-old DePape say he has a “strange personality” and seems “out of touch with reality.” CNN reported that he posted conspiracy theories about Covid-19 vaccines, the 2020 election and the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
President Joe Biden called the attack on Pelosi “despicable” and wrong. He also said the man with the gavel used the same chants Trump supporters used when storming the Capitol on Jan. 6: “Where’s Nancy?”
“Enough is enough, and that’s that. Everyone with a clear conscience must speak out against violence in our politics, no matter their political views,” Biden said in a speech in Philadelphia.
Nearly two years after the deadly riot at the Capitol, there are concerns about the safety of lawmakers and their families. The attack also occurred just 11 days before the midterm elections, in which crime and public safety are among the most important issues for Americans.
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A person with knowledge of the situation, but who did not want to be named, told Reuters that the intruder yelled “Where’s Nancy?” before attacking her husband.
Drew Hammill, who works as Nancy Pelosi spokeswoman, said in a statement that her husband was “attacked by a violent assailant who threatened his life and demanded to see the speaker.”
Not much was initially known about the suspect.
In recent posts on several websites, a user named “daviddepape” showed support for former President Donald Trump and joined the cult-like conspiracy theory QAnon. Some posts talk about “satanic pedophilia,” use anti-Semitic stereotypes, and criticize women, transgender people, and technology companies that censor content.
Past messages tout quartz crystals and hemp bracelets. Reuters was not sure if the posts came from the man, who was arrested Friday.
The San Francisco Chronicle published a picture in 2013 of a man allegedly dancing as Depape at the wedding of two nudist activists in San Francisco. He was fully clothed, but the photo showed him dancing. According to the newspaper, Depape was the best man at the wedding. At the time, he was making jewelry out of hemp and living with the couple in a small house in Berkeley.
Scott, the chief of the police department, said the intruder entered the Pelosis’ three-story red brick home through the back door. Aerial photos of the home in the affluent Pacific Heights neighborhood showed broken glass on a door at the rear.
Scott said police were called to the house at 2:27 a.m. Pacific time (9:27 GMT), where they first saw Depape and Paul Pelosi arguing through the front door with a hammer. When the three officers yelled at both men to drop the tools, Depape pulled the hammer away and hit Pelosi at least once, the police chief said.
Scott said police then subdued Depape, took the gun from him, arrested him, and took him and the other man to a hospital.