Paul Pelosi Leaves San Francisco Hospital After Assault
Six days after suffering a fractured skull in a vicious attack, Paul Pelosi, the husband of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has been discharged from the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.
Mr. Pelosi, 82, is resting at home, recovering from injuries to his head, arm and hand. He spent most of his time at the hospital in the intensive care unit, according to a person familiar with the matter.
“The Pelosi family is thankful for the beautiful outpouring of love, support and prayers from around the world,” Ms. Pelosi said in a statement. “Paul is grateful to the 911 operator, emergency responders, trauma care team, ICU staff and the entire ZSFGH medical staff for their excellent and compassionate lifesaving treatment he received after the violent assault in our home.”
She added that her husband “remains under doctors’ care as he continues to progress on a long recovery process and convalescence. He is now home surrounded by his family who request privacy.”
A 42-year-old man, David DePape, has been charged by federal prosecutors with attempting to kidnap Ms. Pelosi and assaulting a relative of a federal official after breaking into the couple’s San Francisco home on Oct. 28. He also pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to several state felony charges.
Mr. DePape, who had embraced far-right conspiracy theories, struck Mr. Pelosi with a hammer in front of the police, according to prosecutors, and told investigators that he wished to break Ms. Pelosi’s kneecaps if she “lied” and see her “wheeled into Congress” as a lesson to other lawmakers.
His early morning break-in to the Pelosis’ house, in the upscale neighborhood of Pacific Heights, was detailed in a filing made by local prosecutors this week as they argued Mr. DePape should be detained without bail. On Friday, prosecutors and Mr. DePape’s defense team will appear before a San Francisco judge, who will set a date for his preliminary hearing and a bail hearing.
Mr. DePape, who brought zip-ties and two hammers, smashed through a glass door at the back of the house and confronted Mr. Pelosi, who had been asleep in his bedroom, according to two filings issued this week by state and federal prosecutors . The suspected demanded to see Ms. Pelosi, who was in Washington at the time, according to the authorities.
After some discussion, Mr. DePape allowed Mr. Pelosi to use the bathroom, where Mr. Pelosi called 911, and tried to signal surreptitiously to the dispatcher that he was in trouble while Mr. DePape listened to the call, the prosecutors said. When police officers arrived at the house, they witnessed the two men, who had moved downstairs, struggling for control of one of the hammers.
Mr. DePape pulled the hammer away from Mr. Pelosi and smashed him on the head with it before being tackled and restrained by officers. “Mr. Pelosi remained unresponsive for about three minutes, waking up in a pool of his own blood,” according to the local prosecutors’ filing.
Later, according to the same filing, Mr. DePape told officers that he was there on a “suicide mission,” looking for Ms. Pelosi, and that he had other targets as well: a local professor and several state and federal politicians, as well as their relatives.
“I’m sick of the insane fucking level of lies coming out of Washington, DC,” Mr. DePape told officers, according to the authorities.
Mr. DePape grew up in British Columbia in Canada and moved to California about two decades ago. For years, Mr. DePape was living in Berkeley, Calif., where he was at times homeless, before moving to a garage in nearby Richmond about two years ago.
Mr. DePape was easygoing, quiet and a diligent worker, according to Frank Ciccarelli, a carpenter who employed him for the past six years. But he also began embracing political conspiracy theories and believed that the 2020 election had been stolen, Mr. Ciccarelli said.
A few years ago, Mr. Ciccarelli tried to help out Mr. DePape, moving him off the street and into his friend’s garage. But Mr. Ciccarelli believed that gave Mr. DePape greater access to the internet, allowing him to become more isolated and captive to his darkest thoughts.
Mr DePape appeared to have written a blog filled with rants about the 2020 election, antisemitic beliefs and QAnon conspiracy theories. “He went down the rabbit hole,” Mr. Ciccarelli said.
On Tuesday, Adam Lipson, Mr. DePape’s public defender, signaled that his client’s “vulnerability” to political misinformation and propaganda could be a possible strategy for his legal defense.
“That’s certainly something we’re going to look into,” Mr Lipson said.
Holly Secon contributed reporting.