How Did The Attack On Paul Pelosi Go Down? Here’s What We Know So Far

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Trevor Schakohl Legal Reporter
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Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul was attacked inside his home early Friday morning by an intruder wielding a hammer. Following the event, new information from police sources and media reports paints a clearer picture of the attack and the assailant’s actions.

The suspected attacker, identified by police as David DePape, allegedly forced his way through the back door of Pelosi’s San Francisco residence early Friday morning before ultimately going upstairs, District Attorney Brooke Jenkins told ABC News. The intruder, bringing a hammer, zip ties and duct tape with him, then went into a bedroom where Paul Pelosi was sleeping, San Francisco District Attorney’s Office Communications Director Randy Quezada said, while yelling “Where is Nancy?” before confronting Paul Pelosi.

Paul Pelosi told the intruder he needed to use the bathroom before secretively using his cellphone to call 911 and leaving the line open, with the dispatcher able to hear Paul Pelosi speaking to DePape, familiar sources told The Los Angeles Times. Paul Pelosi stated that the man was going to wait for his wife and called DePape a “friend” named David, the dispatcher revealed to police that morning.

Paul Pelosi spoke in code to get help from the dispatcher, according to CNN. A source told The Los Angeles Times that law enforcement believed he did this because the intruder knew he was on the phone, while the New York Post reported that the intruder did not know Pelosi was speaking on the phone.

Officers were dispatched to the house at 2:27 a.m. local time, San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said. Police knocked on the residence’s front door when they arrived, and “someone inside” opened it, according to Chief Scott.

Some news outlets reported that a third person was inside the house with Paul Pelosi and DePape, but District Attorney Jenkins clarified that only the two of them were inside at that time and it was unclear which of them opened the door, according to ABC News.

After the door was opened, the police could see Paul Pelosi and DePape inside, both with one hand on a single hammer, Scott said.

DePape pulled the hammer away and attacked Paul Pelosi when the officers ordered both men to drop the object, Scott said. The officers tackled DePape and confiscated the hammer, taking him into custody.

“Mr. Pelosi was admitted to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital where he underwent successful surgery to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands,” the Speaker’s spokesperson Drew Hammill announced Friday. “His doctors expect a full recovery.”

DePape had a list of people he wanted to target, law enforcement sources told CBS News. (RELATED: McConnell Says He Is ‘Horrified And Disgusted’ Over Attack On Pelosi’s Husband)

People familiar with DePape said he had a history of mental illness, drug use and homelessness.

“He has never been able to hold a job,” his former girlfriend Oxane “Gypsy” Taub, a convicted sex offender and attempted child kidnapper, told The San Francisco Chronicle from prison. “He has been homeless. This person really does suffer from mental illness and that is probably why he was there at 2 a.m.”

A neighbor called Trish told author Michael Shellenberger that DePape would intermittently stay in a bus next to the property with other people, disappearing for months.

Family members linked him to a now-removed Facebook featuring conspiratorial content on topics including the 2020 election, COVID-19 vaccines, and the killing of George Floyd, CNN reported. Nancy Pelosi was shown in videos posted on a blog associated with DePape’s name, which shared antisemitic material and referenced the QAnon conspiracy theory.

The blog shared videos arguing that “any journalist saying” there is no evidence of election fraud “should be dragged straight out into the street and shot” and accusing LGBTQ people of child “grooming,” according to CNN.

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