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David DePape, suspect in Paul Pelosi attack, makes inflammatory statement ahead of trial

A photo closeup of David DePape.
David DePape, who stands accused of attacking Paul Pelosi with a hammer, called KTVU reporter Amber Lee from San Francisco County Jail on Friday. | Michael Short/SF Chronicle via Getty Images | Source: Michael Short/SF Chronicle via Getty Images

David DePape—the Bay Area man facing charges in connection with an October hammer attack against Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi's husband, Paul Pelosi—called a local TV station Friday afternoon to speak about the event.

KTVU FOX2's Amber Lee received the call from San Francisco County Jail the day that police bodycam footage of the attack was released. DePape gave Lee what seemed to be a scripted statement in which he showed no remorse for Pelosi's suffering, but instead seemed intent on riling up extremists.

"Now that you all have seen the bodycam footage, I have an important message for everyone in America: You're welcome," he stated in the recorded phone call.

"Freedom and liberty isn't dying; it's being killed systematically and deliberately. The people killing it have names and addresses. So I got their names and addresses so I could pay them a little visit and have a heart-to-heart chat about their bad behavior."

He continued riffing on "patriots" standing up to "tyranny," saying, "I want to apologize to everyone. I messed up. What I did was really bad. I'm so sorry I didn't get more of them. [...] I should have come better prepared."

RELATED: Pelosi Attack Footage Unlikely To Stamp Out Conspiracy Theories, Experts Say

The suspect, who is facing state and federal charges including attempted murder, elder abuse and attempted kidnapping of a federal officer, also spoke about his "website of over 300 pages," which he asserted was being censored. He was possibly referencing a WordPress blog bearing his name that was updated as recently as August and contained posts with titles such as “Photoghrapic (sic) PROOF Alien-Human Hybrid Infiltrators”; “My favorite episode of Joe Rogan”; and “The Big Lie.” 

A still from policy body cam footage showing David Depape and Paul Pelosi struggle over a hammer in the threshold of a home.
A still from police footage shows David DePape and Paul Pelosi struggling over a hammer. | Courtesy San Francisco Superior Court | Source: Courtesy San Francisco Superior Court

DePape was arrested after San Francisco police responded to a report of a break-in at the Pelosi residence in the city's Pacific Heights neighborhood early on Oct. 28, 2022. Police say officers found Paul Pelosi and DePape struggling with a hammer before witnessing the alleged assailant gain control and strike Pelosi, who fell to the ground. Pelosi sustained a fractured skull and other injuries, which required surgery. The newly released bodycam footage seems to corroborate the officers' account.

The suspect told federal law enforcement that he broke into the Pelosi home because he planned to find Nancy Pelosi and hold her hostage, and if she “lied,” he would “break her kneecaps.” According to the complaint, he said, “she would then have to be wheeled into Congress, which would show other members of Congress there were consequences to actions."

DePape, who pleaded not guilty to all state and federal charges, is due in San Francisco Superior Court on Feb. 23 to set a date for his state trial.