Paul Pelosi attack: Police body camera video shows violent hammer assault
David DePape was charged with numerous crimes, including the attempted murder of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s 82-year-old husband.
Video evidence of the violent attack on former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul, was released on Friday after a judge ruled against prosecutors who had sought to keep it sealed.
The footage, taken from a police body camera, shows officers knocking on the door of the Pelosis’ San Francisco home on Oct. 28. When the door opens, Paul Pelosi and the alleged attacker, David DePape, are seen both holding onto a hammer.
“What’s going on, man?” an officer asks.
“Everything’s good,” DePape replies.
“Drop the hammer,” the officer says to the men.
"Nope," says DePape, who then pulls the hammer away from Pelosi before striking him multiple times as police move in.
The bodycam video shows police on top of DePape as the 82-year-old Pelosi lies on the ground, not moving and struggling to breathe. “Give me your f***ing hands,” an officer tells DePape.
Surveillance footage from an exterior camera released by the U.S. Capitol Police Friday shows DePape using a hammer to smash a glass door in the back of the Pelosi residence and climb through. Audio from a police interview with DePape was also released.
DePape pleaded not guilty to numerous federal and state charges, including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment of an elder, attempted kidnapping of a federal officer and assault on the immediate family member of a federal officer.
According to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court, DePape was carrying a bag with zip ties and duct tape when he broke into the home and accosted Paul Pelosi, repeatedly asking, “Where is Nancy?”
During DePape's interview with police, he claimed his plan had been to hold Nancy Pelosi hostage and talk to her. He said that if she had told the truth, he intended to let her go, but that if she had lied, he would have broken her kneecaps.
That action, DePape told police, would have meant “she would then have to be wheeled into Congress, which would show other members of Congress there were consequences to actions,” the complaint stated.
Nancy Pelosi was in Washington, D.C., and not home during the attack.
“I’m not going to say anything right now," she said when asked by reporters on Capitol Hill Friday about the newly released footage. "I may shortly.”
Paul Pelosi suffered a fractured skull and underwent surgery. He is expected to make a full recovery.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Stephen M. Murphy ruled Wednesday that there was no reason not to release the footage to the public, especially after prosecutors played it in open court during a preliminary hearing last month.
Multiple news organizations had requested that the footage be released.
The attack led to unfounded conspiracy theories about Paul Pelosi and fears among prosecutors that any footage of the incident could be manipulated.
Thomas R. Burke, a San Francisco lawyer who represented news organizations seeking the video, said such fears should not prevent its release. “You don't eliminate the public right of access just because of concerns about conspiracy theories,” he said.