- Prosecutors say DePape made it to the second floor of Pelosi’s home and sought the House speaker.
- Prosecutors said DePape brought zip ties and called out for Nancy Pelosi, like Capitol rioters.
- Paul Pelosi may have saved his own life by leaving 911 call open, prosecutors said.
Federal prosecutors charged David DePape, the man accused of violently attacking Paul Pelosi, while the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continues to recover from the attack after surgery.
David DePape, 42, of Richmond, California, has been jailed since he was arrested early Friday after the attack at Pelosi’s home. Police confronted him allegedly struggling with Paul Pelosi and striking him on the head with a hammer.
The suspect broke in through a back door and made it to the second floor of the Pacific Heights home, police said. After DePape was restrained, police officers secured a roll of tape, white rope, a second hammer, a pair of rubber and cloth gloves, and zip ties from the crime scene, according to federal authorities.
“It was a forced entry into the rear door of the home and that he ultimately did make his way upstairs which is where he ultimately confronted Mr. Pelosi,” San Francisco District Attorney BrookeJenkins told ABC News.
David DePape charged::What he told investigators about break-in at Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home
Here is what we know about the attack and its aftermath:
Paul Pelosi called 911 and left line open: prosecutor
Paul Pelosi called 911 for help and kept the line open so that the dispatcher could hear his conversation with the suspect, Jenkins said.
“He was able to step away from the suspect for a period of time in order to place that call,” Jenkins told ABC News. “I truly believe, based on what I know, that it was lifesaving, that he was able to access his phone and make that call and that he did it so bravely.”
Police arrived as attack unfolded
Police arrived within two minutes of the call, as both men grappled with the hammer, and ordered them to drop the hammer, according to Jenkins. The suspect then allegedly pulled the hammer away from Paul Pelosi and struck him with it, fracturing his skull, Jenkins said.
Nancy Pelosi said her family is grateful for the quick response of law enforcement and emergency services.
“Our children, our grandchildren and I are heartbroken and traumatized by the life-threatening attack on our Pop,” she said.
Paul Pelosi ‘continues to improve’ after surgery, Nancy Pelosi said
Nancy Pelosi said in a statement to lawmakers on Saturday that her 82-year-old husband’s condition “continues to improve” after surgery.
“She did say that the surgery went well,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told Fox News “Sunday Morning Futures,” after exchanging texts on Saturday with the speaker.
Suspect carried zip ties
A source familiar with the matter told USA TODAY that DePape was calling out “Where is Nancy?” apparently in search of the speaker, a question that also filled the halls of the Capitol as rioters breached it on Jan. 6, 2021.
DePape carried zip ties with him when he broke into the home.
“At the time that the suspect, Mr. DePape, entered the home, he was in fact, looking for Ms. Pelosi,” Jenkins told ABC. “The other thing is, we want to make it clear that there were only two people inside the home when police arrived. Mr. Pelosi and the suspect.”
Who is David DePape?
On Facebook, DePape apparently posted that the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty of killing George Floyd, was a “modern-day lynching,” according to CNN.
He also posted transphobic images, linked to websites claiming COVID-19 vaccines were deadly and posted links to YouTube videos with titles like “Democrat FARCE Commission to Investigate January 6th Capitol Riot COLLAPSES in Congress!!!” and “Global Elites Plan To Take Control Of YOUR Money! (Revealed),” according to CNN.
DePape’s Facebook page has since been taken down.
A WordPress blogger who identified as “daviddepape” lamented about purported censorship by “Tech giants and private industry,” suggesting the Founding Fathers “never imagined” a day when they could “single handedly silence the people.”
“The reason we have a first amendment is because censorship only applies to you,” the blogger wrote. “The elites/ruling class never censor themselves.”
The blog has since been removed from WordPress. USA TODAY was unable to verify whether the account belongs to the suspect.
Officials across political spectrum decry violence
Politicians from all sides of the political spectrum decried the violence.
“Let me be perfectly clear: Violence or threat of violence has no place in our society,” said McCarthy, the House Republican leader. “What happened to Paul Pelosi is wrong.”
President Joe Biden told reporters on Saturday that condemning the violence wasn’t enough.
“It’s one thing to condemn the violence. But you can’t condemn the violence unless you condemn those people who are arguing that the election is not real,” Biden said. “The talk has to stop. That’s the problem.”
Former President Barack Obama, at a rally Saturday in Detroit, told the crowd politics is becoming a realm where participants stir up division and make people angry around the clock.
“All of this has been amped up, hyped up, 24/7 on social media, on platforms that oftentimes find controversy and conflict more profitable than telling the truth,” Obama said.
Former President Donald Trump told Americano Media on Sunday that the attack was a terrible thing. He added that crime was increasing in San Francisco, Chicago and elsewhere.
“What happened with Paul Pelosi is horrible,” Trump said.
Contributing: The Associated Press
Story Credit: usatoday.com