The man accused of attacking U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer told police he wanted to hold the Democratic chief hostage and “break her kneecaps” to present different members of Congress there have been penalties for his or her actions, authorities mentioned Monday.
In a chilling federal criticism, officers say that David DePape, 42, carrying zip ties and tape in a backpack, broke into the couple’s San Francisco home early Friday morning, went upstairs the place 82-year-old Paul Pelosi was sleeping and demanded to speak to “Nancy.”
When Paul Pelosi told the intruder she was not there, DePape, who was born in Canada, mentioned he would wait — even after being told she wouldn’t be home for some days.
Both the San Francisco district lawyer and police chief strongly rejected mocking jokes and conspiracy theories in regards to the attack despatched out by far-right figures and even some main Republicans only a week earlier than hard-fought congressional elections.
DePape told police of his plans to hold Speaker Pelosi hostage to “speak to her” and considered her “because the “chief of the pack” of lies told by the Democratic Party, the eight-page criticism says.
“If she have been to inform DePape the ‘reality,’ he would let her go and if she ‘lied,’ he was going to break ‘her kneecaps,'” the criticism alleges.
“By breaking Nancy’s kneecaps, she would then have to be wheeled into Congress, which might present different members of Congress there have been penalties to actions,” it says.
DePape is charged federally with influencing, impeding, or retaliating in opposition to a federal official by threatening or injuring a member of the family. He additionally faces one rely of tried kidnapping of a United States official on account of the efficiency of official duties.
The announcement of the federal costs comes as San Francisco’s district lawyer is ready to announce state prison costs as effectively in opposition to DePape.
It was not instantly clear whether or not DePape had an lawyer who may communicate on his behalf.
DePape is a Canadian citizen who legally entered the United States in 2000 however has stayed lengthy after his visa expired, in accordance to a U.S. official who was not approved to focus on the matter publicly and spoke on situation of anonymity.
Family described DePape as estranged, and he was identified by some in San Francisco as a pro-nudity activist who appeared to embrace a spread of conspiracy theories.
The federal criticism mentioned he has lived for the previous two years in a storage at a residence in Richmond, Calif.
Police have been dispatched to the home in the upscale Pacific Heights neighbourhood round 2:20 a.m. PT Friday after Paul Pelosi positioned a 911 name. Jenkins mentioned DePape broke into the rear door and made his means upstairs to confront him. Police mentioned they arrived to see the 2 males struggling over a hammer, when DePape struck Pelosi no less than as soon as earlier than being tackled by officers.
Toxic political local weather
Paul Pelosi stays hospitalized. Speaker Pelosi, who was in Washington on the time, returned swiftly to California. Unlike presidents, the congressional leaders have safety safety for themselves, however not their households.
In the ambulance en route to the hospital, Paul Pelosi told police he had by no means seen DePape earlier than, the criticism mentioned.
The attack was an unsettling echo of the Jan. 6, 2021, riot on the Capitol, when rioters attempting to overturn Joe Biden’s election defeat of Donald Trump stormed the halls eerily calling “Where’s Nancy?” The zip ties have been one other similarity to Jan. 6 when rioters have been seen with the ties in the Capitol.
In the toxic political local weather, per week earlier than the midterm elections, tensions are excessive with file safety threats in opposition to lawmakers and different officers.
The beating follows different assaults and threats in opposition to high-profile and political figures in the U.S. This summer season, a person carrying a gun, a knife and zip ties was arrested close to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home in Maryland after threatening to kill him. In 2017, Republican Rep. Steve Scalise was severely injured when a Bernie Sanders supporter opened hearth on Republicans at a congressional baseball sport apply.
Dismissed by far proper
San Francisco’s district lawyer Brooke Jenkins additionally rejected conspiracy theories in regards to the attack, confirming the assailant was focusing on the Democratic chief when he broke into the couple’s home.
“At the time that the suspect had entered the Pelosi home that he was in reality, on the lookout for Ms. Pelosi,” Jenkins told reporters late Sunday in San Francisco.
“The different factor is we would like to make it clear that there have been solely two folks in the home on the time that the police arrived, Mr. Pelosi and the suspect, there was no third individual current,” she mentioned.
“We don’t have anything to counsel that these two males knew one another prior to this incident.”
The district lawyer’s remarks come because the ugly attack is being mocked and dismissed in conservative, far-right social media, even amongst some Republican leaders and people on the highest ranges of social energy. San Francisco’s police chief has additionally mentioned the attack was focused.
Elon Musk over the weekend tweeted, then deleted, a fringe web site’s far-flung conspiracy theories to his tens of millions of followers, as his buy of Twitter has raised considerations that the social media platform would not search to restrict misinformation and hate speech.
Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., was amongst these making mild of the attack on Paul Pelosi, tweeting out a joke a couple of Halloween costume of the incident.