Intruder breaking in Paul Pelosi’s home
David DePape, a home intruder, broke into the Pelosi’s San Francisco home in late October, striking Paul Pelosi on the head with a hammer after demanding to know the whereabouts of the congresswoman, Nancy Pelosi. Prosecutors say that DePape was on a hunt for the congresswoman and was furious with elected officials.
Multiple pieces of evidence against DePape, including body camera footage, a 911 call from the Pelosi home, and a recording of DePape’s interview with police, have been made public by a San Francisco judge this week. The recordings, which were publicly revealed during a December court hearing, depict the culmination of what authorities describe as DePape’s mission to target Nancy Pelosi and other elected officials.
The body camera footage shows Paul Pelosi and DePape both grasping a hammer when officers arrived at the Pelosi residence in the early morning hours of Oct. 28. Officers order the men to drop the hammer, and DePape says “nope” before turning it and swinging at Paul, after which both men topple to the floor and an officer calls for a medic.
In footage from a Capitol Police surveillance camera, DePape can be seen taking a hammer and what appears to be a handful of zip ties out of the bags he brought with him. DePape told officers that he intended to kidnap Nancy Pelosi. At the end of the video, DePape can be seen repeatedly swinging the hammer against the exterior of the Pelosi residence and then climbing inside.
In a police interview shortly after the attack, DePape describes his anger toward Nancy Pelosi as “leader of the pack” of political figures who were “lying on a consistent basis,” including by seeking to undermine former President Donald Trump. He planned to kidnap the congresswoman and break her kneecaps if she did not tell him the truth. He accuses Democrats of “spying on a rival campaign” and “submitting fake evidence” to advance that effort, in a seeming reference to an investigation into the Trump campaigns ties to Russia.
“The person who was on the TV lying every day was Pelosi,” DePape said.
DePape is calm and lucid in the interview, although he appears to fight tears when describing his animosity toward Democrats. He said he knew officers would be on the way after the 911 call but decided to stay anyway, likening himself to American revolutionaries. “When I left my house, I left to go fight tyranny,” he said. “I did not leave to go surrender.”
Officers were summoned to the house after a call from Paul Pelosi. In audio from that call, Paul Pelosi says “there’s a gentleman here just waiting for my wife to come back, Nancy Pelosi.” He says he does not know DePape and ends the call shortly after noting DePape is telling him “not to do anything” and “to just put the phone down and do what he says.”
The break-in and attack stunned San Francisco and reverberated through national politics, punctuating a torrent of violent rhetoric directed at Nancy Pelosi and other elected officials.
DePape, who entered a not guilty plea, said he targeted the congresswoman because she was second in line for the presidency and that she embodied “evil in Washington,” revealing his plans to break her kneecaps, according to prosecutors’ evidence. He also told police that he wanted to go after others including California Governor Gavin Newsom and Hunter Biden, the President’s son.
DePape’s online history shows him becoming immersed in extremist and Trump-aligned narratives such as the QAnon conspiracy theory. He is being held without bail and faces multiple charges including attempted murder, burglary, and assault with a deadly weapon.
The attack on the Pelosi residence has reignited discussions about the security of elected officials and their families, as well as the dangers of extremist rhetoric and its potential to incite violence. It is a stark reminder of the importance of protecting those who serve in our government, and the need for all of us to reject and condemn any form of violence or hate directed at elected officials or their families.
The case against DePape is still ongoing and it remains to be seen what the outcome will be. However, one thing is clear – the violence and hatred that was displayed in this attack has no place in our society. We must all come together to reject such behavior and work towards a more peaceful and just society where everyone is treated with respect and dignity.