Paul Pelosi assaulted by intruder

Last Friday, a male intruder broke into Nancy and Paul Pelosi’s San Francisco home searching for Nancy, and assaulted her husband with a hammer.

Jamie Gangel of CNN describes the incident, where the assailant broke into the Pelosi home and went upstairs to their bedroom where Paul was asleep. She furthers that the intruder brought zip ties, duct tape, and a hammer to the household in what is being considered an intentional entry specifically targeting the Pelosis, and proceeded to try to tie Paul up.

Luckily, Richard Winton of L.A. Times explains, Paul was able to call 911 while in the bathroom and left the line open, allowing the police to hear conversation between Paul and the assailant and dispatch forces to the scene, who arrived in only two minutes. In released information pertaining to the call, it appears that Paul gave coded statements to the police on how he was waiting for his wife and was with his “friend” David, which the 911 operator was able to decipher as a potentially dangerous situation and dispatch forces with a higher priority.

Winton notes that when the police arrived, Paul and his assailant were both trying to gain control of a single hammer, and upon police instruction to back off, the assailant “‘immediately’ pulled the tool from Pelosi and ‘violently attacked him with the hammer.” As he attacked Paul, the assailant was said to be shouting “Where is Nancy?” repeatedly.

Police were able to tackle the assailant to get him off Paul Pelosi, but not before Paul sustained multiple blows to the head, arms, and hands.

Jamie Gangel of CNN reports that the assailant has been identified as David DePape, a 42-year-old man with no prior connection to the Pelosis.

Alyssa Goard of NBC Bay Area explains that DePape was active online, and from posts that were dug up from sites he appeared to operate, he seemed to believe heavily in conspiracy theories and would “at times have contradictory views.” While most of his websites and posts have been taken down, the remaining website he authored includes rants about the 2020 election results and COVID-19 among other topics, and there was heavy anti-semitism and far-right extremism throughout his writing. Winton further analyzes his personal blog and highlights posts titled “Manipulation of History” and “It’s OK to be white,” as well as mentioning far-right message board 4chan and many conspiracy theories about COVID-19, the war in Ukraine, and QAnon.

Anders Hagstrom of Fox News also notes DePape’s history of mental illness with an ex-partner he raised two kids with. Both that partner and his estranged family in Canada offered commentary on the events.

Winton furthers that DePape now faces multiple felony charges, including: “suspicion of attempted murder, first-degree burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, threatening a family member of a public official, elder abuse, battery with serious bodily injury, dissuading a witness and injuring a wireless device.”

Luckily, Paul Pelosi seems to be making an active recovery. Julia Shapero of The Hill reports that Paul underwent surgery on Friday to repair a skull fracture and injuries on his right arm and hands, and is expected to make a full recovery from the attack.

This attack has led to a wave of politicians denouncing violence and offering sympathy to the Pelosi family. Julia Shapiro of The Hill explains that notable Democrat and Republican leaders have addressed the recent attack. Notable Republican politicians who have denounced the attack include Mitch McConnell, Mike Pence, Ted Cruz, and Lindsay Graham, while others like former President Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy have stayed silent, prompting backlash from Democrats like Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Democrats including President Biden have rallied behind Pelosi, offering their support and denouncing violence in politics. Democratic supporters have also called out Republican politicians who have used the attack to support their own political agenda or sweep it under the rug.

Amy Wang of the Washington Post explains how the attack has also led to lawmakers pressing for better security measures for prominent political figures, noting that while top House and Senate leaders have protective details, their families do not — hence why Paul Pelosi was unprotected in California while his wife was working in D.C.

Wang furthers that an important consideration when looking at new legislation is the fact that threats aren’t just limited to political leaders, but also seen throughout Congress. Senator Amy Klobuchar believes that not only should security be re-evaluated, but social media proliferation of hate speech and falsehoods, as well as the prevalence of violence-promotion in politics as a whole need to be addressed.

As for the Paul Pelosi incident, justice is in the process of being served, as the arraignment for DePape occurs this Tuesday.