Hammer Fight Leaves Speaker Pelosi’s Husband “Violently Assaulted”

A Berkeley man is now charged with attempted murder in the overnight attack in San Francisco, which took place while the speaker of the House was in Washington

When San Francisco Police arrived at the sprawling Pac Heights home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi early Friday morning, they found a man, later identified as David DePape, and Paul Pelosi each holding hammers, the department’s Chief William Scott told reporters hours after the incident.

Police arrived at the Pelosi home at 2:27 a.m., having been prompted by a call for a “well-being check” and found DePape and the 82-year-old husband of the congresswoman struggling. Suddenly, as Scott told the press, the attacker, who’d broken into the Pelosi home, “pulled the hammer away from Pelosi and violently assaulted him with it.”

Officers at the scene then tackled DePape to the ground. He was subsequently arrested and charged with attempted murder, elder abuse, and other felonies connected to the overnight break-in.

“The motive is still being determined,” Scott said. 

The bizarre attack comes less than two weeks before midterm elections, in which control of the House and U.S. Senate is at stake.

The U.S. Capitol Police said Speaker Pelosi was in Washington, D.C. at the time of the attack along with the extensive security detail she is provided. The agency has now dispatched investigators from its Threat Assessment Section to the Capitol to assist the FBI and San Francisco Police with the investigation, according to a USCP statement.

The attack came as Capitol Police confirmed that threats against federal lawmakers have skyrocketed, with nearly 10,000 reports filed—even after insurrectionists surged the Capitol on January 6, 2021. While some federal lawmakers are now assigned Capitol Police details, family members remain unprotected when the related members of Congress are traveling.

Recently, other high-profile politicians have been targeted for violence. Three men who were members of a paramilitary group calling themselves the Wolverine Watchmen were convicted in connection with a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday. And earlier this month, shots were fired outside the Long Island home of Lee Zeldin, a GOP candidate for New York’s governorship.

A spokesperson for the House speaker said Paul Pelosi is expected to make a full recovery.

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