Video footage of violent home attack on Paul Pelosi released
SAN FRANCISCO – Footage of the attack on Paul Pelosi, husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was released to the public Friday.
Footage shows a man identified by authorities as suspect David DePape breaking into the home. Body camera footage from police responding to the location shows a confrontation between the attacker and Pelosi.
That footage shows DePape rip a hammer from the grasp of 82-year-old Paul Pelosi and lunge toward him. The attacker then holds the tool over his head. A blow to Pelosi occurs out of view and the officers rush into the house and jump on DePape.
Pelosi, apparently unconscious, can be seen lying face down on the floor in his pajama top and underwear.
Background: The footage released Friday from the court clerk's office was played in open court last month. It showed footage from U.S. Capitol Police surveillance cameras, body cameras worn by the two responding police officers and from the police interview of accused attacker David DePape. Parts of Paul Pelosi's 911 call were also played.
For context: DePape, 42, is accused of breaking into the couple's home Oct. 28 with a political vendetta and assaulting Paul Pelosi with a hammer. DePape pleaded not guilty in December to six charges, including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, attempted kidnapping, burglary, elder abuse and threatening a family member of a public official.
Why the video was released: A San Francisco judge ruled Wednesday that there was no reason to keep the footage secret after it was already shown in open court last month, according to Thomas Burke, a San Francisco-based lawyer who represented news media attempting to gain access to evidence in the case.
The motive: Police Lt. Carla Hurley, who interviewed DePape at San Francisco General Hospital the day of the attack, testified he said he sought to attack Nancy Pelosi because she is "the second in line to the presidency," and told her: "There is evil in Washington." She was not home at the time.
What the video shows of the attack on Paul Pelosi
Police body camera footage shows officers knocking on the home's front door. It takes about 20 seconds for the door to open and during that time, the officers discuss whether they have the right house.
Next, footage shows Pelosi and the attacker standing in the home's entrance foyer . A flashlight shows the attacker holding the handle of a hammer with one hand and clutching Pelosi’s hand, which is gripping the hammer head, with his other hand. Both men try to pull the hammer away from each other.
A responding officer can be heard saying, "Drop the hammer," right before the man identified by police as DePape pries the weapon out of Pelosi's grip and wields it against him.
Both men fall to the ground as police scramble inside, and footage shows Pelosi motionless on the floor.
Capitol Police security camera footage from earlier in the night shows a man wearing a large backpack and carrying two other bags outside the home. He pulls out a hammer and smashes a glass-panel door, then crouches down to enter through it.
In 911 call, Paul Pelosi says stranger waiting for wife to come home
After the attacker confronted Paul Pelosi in his bedroom, Pelosi tried to make it to an elevator in the home to reach a phone, but the man blocked his way, authorities previously said. Pelosi then told the man he had to use the restroom, where his cellphone was charging, allowing Pelosi to call 911.
During the 911 call, Pelosi tells a dispatcher that a man had come to the house asking to see his wife, Nancy Pelosi. The suspect is listening to the call in the background and at one point identifies himself as "David."
While talking with the dispatcher, the suspect tells Pelosi to get off the phone, Pelosi says.
"He told me to put the phone down and do what he says, OK?" Pelosi said.
Police praised an alert dispatcher for reading between the lines of Pelosi's calm voice – and DePape's responses in the background – and coding the call as a priority, resulting in a faster police response.
What else do authorities say happened during the attack?
DePape is accused of waking Paul Pelosi by standing over his bed wielding a hammer and zip ties. Authorities say he asked, "Where’s Nancy?”
When Pelosi asked why DePape wanted to see his wife, police say DePape responded: “Well, she’s No. 2 in line for the presidency, right? ... We’ve got to take them all out.”
After being knocked unconscious, Pelosi remained unresponsive for about three minutes. His head and hand injuries required surgery and a nearly weeklong stay at a hospital.
Who is David DePape?
DePape is a Canadian citizen who entered the U.S. on a tourist visa 20 years ago and remained after it expired. Pelosi did not know DePape prior to the attack, according to the San Francisco Police Department.
At a December sufficient evidence hearing for DePape, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Stephen M. Murphy repeated details shared by the prosecution that DePape "came to the Pelosi house to wipe out and teach a lesson to the people that he believes are corrupt," and reportedly told police: "I didn't come here to surrender. If you stop me, it's like stopping me from going after evil and you will take the punishment."
DePape, who is being held at the San Francisco County Jail, faces 13 years to life in prison if convicted of the charges against him.
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Contributing: Bart Jansen and Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY; The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Video released of Paul Pelosi attack at home in San Francisco