Pelosi attack suspect appears in court to be arraigned


SAN FRANCISCO — The man accused of breaking into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home and assaulting her husband with a hammer reportedly told police he was on a “suicide mission” and had a target list of state and federal politicians as part of its efforts to combat “lies” coming from Washington.

David Wayne DePape, 42, was arraigned Tuesday afternoon in San Francisco County Superior Court, where he faced multiple state charges related to the attack on Paul Pelosi, including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, residential burglary, false imprisonment, and threatening death or grievous bodily harm to a public official.

Prosecutors pushed for DePape to be held without bail, citing the “extreme risk to public safety he poses.” The judge ordered DePape held until a bail hearing could be set. DePape also received a protective order requiring him to stay at least 150 feet from the Pelosis and their home.

Through public defender Adam Lipson, DePape pleaded not guilty.

Attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband follows years of GOP demonizing her

Court documents filed Tuesday in the state’s case provided new details about the harrowing incident and more about the suspect’s alleged plans.

DePape allegedly used a hammer to break into the Speaker of the House in San Francisco early Friday. Upstairs, he found her 82-year-old husband, Paul, sleeping. “Are you Paul Pelosi?” DePape allegedly asked, according to the state filing, as he stood over him, holding a large hammer in his right hand and “several white plastic zip ties” in his left hand. “Where’s Nancy?” Where is Nancy?

When Paul Pelosi said she wouldn’t be home for days, DePape allegedly said he would wait and attempted to tie up Pelosi, according to the federal complaint. State prosecutors say Paul Pelosi tried to access an elevator to use a phone inside to call for help, but DePape allegedly blocked him.

Asked by Paul Pelosi why he wanted to speak to the Speaker of the House, DePape allegedly told him, “Well, she’s number two in the running for the presidency, isn’t she?”

When Paul Pelosi “agreed,” DePape “replied, ‘They’re all corrupt,’ and ‘We need to get ’em out,'” the filing reads.

Read the prosecutors’ court filing on the burglary at Nancy Pelosi’s home

Attempting to escape, Paul Pelosi then asked to use the bathroom, where his phone was charging and he was able to call 911.

State prosecutors say Paul Pelosi tried to “defuse the situation” and told the 911 operator he “didn’t need police, fire or medical assistance.”

“Trying to be calm and low-key while trying to help the dispatch understand the situation, Mr. Pelosi then asked for the Capitol Police as they are usually at home protecting his wife,” the court document reads.

The dispatcher told Paul Pelosi he was calling the San Francisco police. “This gentleman just walked into the house and he wants to wait for my wife to come home,” he told the 911 operator, according to the court document.

Paul Pelosi gave the operator his name and address. When the operator asked for the name of the man with him, DePape reportedly replied, “My name is David.”

DePape allegedly told Paul Pelosi to tell the 911 operator he was a friend of the Pelosi family. But Pelosi confirmed to the dispatcher that he did not know the man. When the 911 operator asked if Paul Pelosi was okay, he replied, “No, he wants me to pick up the phone.”

San Francisco police officers responding to the Pelosis home encountered an open door where they witnessed Paul Pelosi and DePape struggling for control of a hammer. When officers told DePape to drop the hammer, he allegedly released the tool and attacked Paul Pelosi, hitting him in the head and knocking him out.

“Mr. Pelosi was unresponsive for three minutes, waking up in a pool of his own blood,” the complaint against DePape reads. State prosecutors called the attack “near-fatal.”

The filing says DePape told officers he “acted alone.” “I’m sick of the insane level of lies coming from Washington, D.C. I came here to have a little chat with his wife,” DePape reportedly told police.

“I didn’t really mean to hurt him, but you know it was a suicide mission.” I’m not going to stay here and do nothing even if it costs me my life… I’ll go through him if I have to.

After his arrest, DePape allegedly admitted that he “intended to enter the house to take President Nancy Pelosi hostage, and if President Pelosi had lied to him, he intended to break her kneecaps.” , according to state prosecutors. He said he had seen “Ring cameras everywhere” and knew he would be caught on camera.

According to the affidavit filed by an FBI agent, DePape claimed that Nancy Pelosi was the “ringleader” of the lies being told by the Democratic Party and that if he broke her kneecaps “then she should be propelled into Congress, which who show other members of Congress that actions had consequences.

DePape also allegedly claimed he wanted to “use Nancy to lure another individual” to him, according to the federal complaint.

Tuesday’s motion to detain DePape said the man allegedly “named multiple targets, including a local professor, several prominent state and federal politicians, and relatives of those state and federal politicians.”

In court on Tuesday, DePape appeared in a heavily guarded courtroom filled with several rows of reporters. Heavy with shaggy brown hair that stretched to his shoulders, DePape wore an orange tracksuit that barely matched his large size, with the shirt draped over his right arm, which was in a sling.

Lipson, an assistant public defender from San Francisco who was named at the hearing to represent DePape, told reporters after the hearing that his client suffered a dislocated shoulder during his arrest. He said his client remained in the hospital until Tuesday when he was transferred to San Francisco County Jail, where he is being held.

He declined to say whether the suspension was related to mental health issues.

Lipson asked for the bail argument to take place in a separate hearing, but told reporters that a federal suspension had been placed on his client, which means DePape is unlikely to be released any time soon.

Lipson said he has yet to review police reports of the incident and would withhold any further comments on DePape’s defense. “What I will say is that there’s been a lot of speculation about Mr. DePape’s vulnerability to misinformation, and that’s definitely something we’re going to look into,” Lipson said.

Another hearing was scheduled for Friday in the case, although a court spokesperson said DePape had waived his right to attend.

DePape also faces federal charges related to Friday’s attack, including assault and attempted kidnapping. It was not immediately clear when he would make his first appearance in this case.

State and federal prosecutions were to proceed simultaneously. DePape faces 13 years to life in prison if convicted of the charges against the state.

On Monday, San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins described the incident as a “politically motivated” attack and sought to challenge conspiracy theories circulating around the incident, ostensibly claiming that DePape and Paul Pelosi did not know each other.

Paul Pelosi remains hospitalized at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital following surgery for injuries sustained in the attack, including a fractured skull. In a statement Monday evening, Nancy Pelosi said her husband was making “steady progress on what will be a long process of recovery.”

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