By Zachary Stieber
The man who allegedly attacked the husband of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was charged Oct. 31 with federal and state charges, including assault and elder abuse.
David DePape, 42, was charged with assault and attempted kidnapping by U.S. prosecutors and a slew of felonies by local prosecutors, including elder abuse and assault with a deadly weapon.
He faces up to 50 years in prison if convicted on the federal charges. He faces up to life in state prison if convicted on the state charges.
San Francisco officers responded to a 911 call from Paul Pelosi in the early hours of Friday and witnessed, after the door was opened, DePape and Paul Pelosi each with a hand on the same hammer.
Officers asked what was happening and DePape said that “everything was good,” according to an FBI affidavit supporting the new charges. Officers commanded the men to release the hammer. DePape then pulled the hammer away and swung it at Paul Pelosi’s head. Paul Pelosi fell to the ground and appeared to be unconscious.
Officers located zip ties in a bedroom in the home and inside of a backpack, they found a journal, a roll of tape, a hammer, a pair of gloves, and white rope.
Officers found signs that DePape broke into the home through the rear of the building.
A witness told officers that he saw a person wearing all black and carrying a large black bag walking near the Pelosi residence. Paul Pelosi, meanwhile, said that he was asleep when DePape entered the bedroom and said he wanted to talk to Nancy Pelosi. DePape said that he would wait, even after Paul Pelosi said his wife would not be home for several days.
Paul Pelosi called 911 from the bathroom.
According to dispatch audio, Paul Pelosi said that he was with a man he described as “a friend” and that the man was going to wait for his wife.
The dispatcher sent officers to the home after receiving the call.
DePape told officers hours after being detained that he intended to hold Nancy Pelosi hostage and that he would break her kneecaps if she did not tell the truth.
DePape later explained that breaking Nancy Pelosi’s kneecaps would force her to be wheeled into Congress, “which would show other Members of Congress there were consequences to actions,” according to the affidavit. But DePape also said his goal was to use Nancy Pelosi “to lure another individual” to him.
Interim San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins declined to say who that individual was while speaking to reporters on Monday.
Jenkins did say that the attack appeared to be politically motivated.
“It appears as though this was—based on his statements and comments that were made in that house during his encounter with Mr. Pelosi—that this was politically motivated,” she said. “He was looking for the speaker at the time he entered the home.”