Police identified the suspect who allegedly attacked Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband, Paul Pelosi, as 42-year-old David DePape, a Berkeley resident. He has been taken into custody and will be charged with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and elder abuse, among other charges, according to the district attorney.
The speaker's office issued a statement Friday afternoon saying that Mr. Pelosi was recovering from successful surgery for a skull fracture and serious injuries he sustained to his right arm and hands. The statement also said that the assailant demanded to see the speaker and threatened the life of her husband.
Speaker Pelosi arrived at San Francisco General Hospital at around 4 p.m., entering through the back door, The Chronicle reported.
San Francisco police said that at approximately 2:27 a.m. on Friday morning, officers responded to the 2600 block of Broadway in the Pacific Heights neighborhood for a welfare check.
Mr. Pelosi and DePape were observed by SFPD officers in the home, both holding onto a hammer. The suspect pulled the hammer away from Mr. Pelosi and immediately assaulted him with it. Officers then tackled the suspect, SFPD Chief Bill Scott told a press conference.
Mr. Pelosi was severely beaten with the hammer during the attack and suffered blunt force injuries to his head and body, according to the AP. The assailant reportedly targeted the Pelosi home, yelling, “Where is Nancy, where is Nancy?”
Mr. Pelosi is receiving treatment at San Francisco General Hospital, according to hospital spokesperson Christine Falvey. ABC News reported that he was undergoing skull surgery. He is expected to make a full recovery, said Drew Hammill, spokesperson for Nancy Pelosi.
The motive is under investigation, Hammill said in a statement. Speaker Pelosi was not at home at the time of the incident.
"The Speaker and her family are grateful to the first responders and medical professionals involved, and request privacy at this time," Hammill said in a statement.
A San Francisco Fire Department spokesperson said, "SFFD was dispatched to this incident for a medical emergency. Two adult subjects were transported to local hospital(s). SFPD will have further info."
Melissa Graham lives in the Marina and walks through Pacific Heights regularly.
“I was like, ‘Oh my God!’ It’s devastating that someone in political power isn’t safe in their own house. It’s heartbreaking and scary," Graham said. She said when she heard about the attack, she was immediately concerned about the safety of the speaker.
Carolyn Bell, who lives a few blocks from the Pelosi residence, says she heard about the attack this morning.
“It’s just sad for him. Terrifying. Must have been a horrible experience,” she said. “It’s not great that someone could sneak in in the middle of the night and do that. It’s terrifying that we’re in that state where individuals are taking it upon themselves to carry out politically motivated attacks,” she added.
Another neighbor, Paige Pietrofesa, saw the police tape and looked up what was happening in the news on her phone. “Is this a movie shooting or a crime scene? Because I guess you never know in California,” she said. “I feel bad for Mr. Pelosi. It’s hard to defend yourself at that age."
Joe Burn can be reached at [email protected]
Josh Koehn can be reached at [email protected]