SAN FRANCISCO –
The husband of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was attacked and severely beaten with a hammer by an assailant who authorities mentioned broke into the couple’s San Francisco house early Friday, looking for the Democratic chief and shouting, “Where is Nancy, the place is Nancy?”
The assault on the 82-year-old Paul Pelosi injected new uneasiness into the nation’s already toxic political local weather, simply 11 days earlier than the midterm elections. It carried chilling echoes of the Jan. 6, 2021, rebellion on the Capitol when rioters chanted menacingly for the speaker as they rampaged via the halls attempting to halt certification of Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump.
Speaker Pelosi, who was in Washington on the time of the California assault, arrived in San Francisco late Friday and went straight to the hospital the place her husband was being handled for accidents.
“This was not a random act. This was intentional. And it is fallacious,” mentioned San Francisco Police Chief William Scott.
He mentioned the emergency 911 dispatcher’s instinct was “lifesaving,” and the police chief appeared to carry again emotion as strongly rejected the violence in politics.
“Our elected officers are right here to do the enterprise of their cities and their counties and their states. Their households do not join this,” Scott mentioned. “Everybody ought to be disgusted about what occurred this morning.”
Forty-two-year-old David DePape was arrested on suspicion of tried homicide, elder abuse and robbery, and remained within the hospital late Friday, police mentioned. Paul Pelosi underwent surgical procedure to restore a cranium fracture and critical accidents to his proper arm and fingers, the speaker’s workplace mentioned. His medical doctors anticipate a full restoration.
Biden rapidly referred to as Speaker Pelosi with assist and later delivered a full-throated condemnation of the “despicable” assault that he mentioned had no place in America.
“There’s an excessive amount of violence, political violence. Too a lot hatred. Too a lot vitriol,” Biden mentioned Friday evening at a Democratic rally in Pennsylvania.
“What makes us suppose it isn’t going to corrode the political local weather? Enough is sufficient is sufficient.”
Senate Republican chief Mitch McConnell tweeted he was “horrified and disgusted” by the assault.
The nation’s political rhetoric has grow to be progressively alarming, with ominous threats to lawmakers at an all-time excessive. The House speaker and different congressional leaders are offered 24-hour safety, and progressively extra different members now obtain police safety. This, as crime and public security have emerged as high points for voters within the election.
In San Francisco on Friday, police have been referred to as at about 2.30 a.m. to the Pelosi residence to test on Paul Pelosi, mentioned Scott.
Scott confirmed that the intruder gained entry via the rear door of the house, which is within the upscale Pacific Heights neighborhood. Investigators consider the intruder broke via glass-paneled doorways, in accordance with two folks acquainted with the state of affairs.
Paul Pelosi referred to as 911 himself after telling the intruder he had to make use of the restroom, the place his telephone was charging, in accordance with one other particular person acquainted with the state of affairs and granted anonymity to debate it. The particular person mentioned the intruder confronted the speaker’s husband shouting, “Where is Nancy?”
Scott mentioned the dispatcher figured on the market was “one thing extra” than she was being informed, leading to a precedence dispatch and sooner police response. “I believe this was lifesaving,” he famous.
Inside, police found the suspect, DePape, and Paul Pelosi struggling over a hammer, and informed them to drop it, Scott mentioned. DePape yanked the hammer from Pelosi and started beating him with it, placing at the very least one blow, earlier than being tackled by officers and arrested, Scott mentioned. The FBI and Capitol Police are additionally a part of the joint investigation.
Police mentioned a motive for Friday’s intrusion was nonetheless to be decided, however three folks with information of the investigation informed The Associated Press that DePape focused Pelosi’s house. Those folks weren’t licensed to speak publicly about an ongoing probe and spoke on situation of anonymity. He was booked within the county jail.
The speaker had returned to Washington this week after being overseas and had been scheduled to look with Vice President Kamala Harris at a fundraising occasion Saturday evening for the LGBTQ group Human Rights Campaign. Pelosi canceled her look.
On Friday, Harris mentioned, “I strongly consider that every one in every of us has to talk out in opposition to hate, now we have to talk out in opposition to violence clearly, and converse to our higher selves.”
An deal with listed for DePape within the Bay Area faculty city of Berkeley led to a put up field at a UPS Store.
He was recognized regionally as a pro-nudity activist who had picketed bare at protests in opposition to legal guidelines requiring folks to be clothed in public
Gene DePape, the suspect’s stepfather, mentioned the suspect lived with him in Canada till he was 14 and was a quiet boy.
“He was reclusive,” mentioned Gene DePape, including, “He was by no means violent.”
The stepfather mentioned he hadn’t seen DePape since 2003 and tried to get in contact with him a number of instances over time with out success.
Lawmakers from each events reacted with shock and expressed their well-wishes to the Pelosi household.
“What occurred to Paul Pelosi was a dastardly act,” mentioned Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. “I spoke with Speaker Pelosi earlier this morning and conveyed my deepest concern and heartfelt needs to her husband and their household, and I want him a speedy restoration.”
House Republican chief Kevin McCarthy reached out privately to the speaker “to test in on Paul and mentioned he is praying for a full restoration,” spokesman Mark Bednar mentioned.
But some Republicans declined to pause from politics.
Virginia GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin, at a marketing campaign cease for a congressional candidate, mentioned of the Pelosis, “There’s no room for violence anyplace, however we will ship her again to be with him in California.”
In 2021, Capitol Police investigated round 9,600 threats made in opposition to members of Congress, and a number of other members have been bodily attacked in recent times. Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was shot within the head at an occasion exterior a Tucson grocery retailer in 2011, and Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., was severely injured when a gunman opened fireplace on a Republican congressional baseball staff observe in 2017.
Members of Congress have acquired further cash for safety at their properties, however some have pushed for but extra safety as folks have proven up at their residences.
Nancy Pelosi, who’s second in line of succession to the president, has been viciously lampooned in marketing campaign advertisements by Republicans and out of doors teams this election cycle. Her protecting safety element was with her in Washington on the time of Friday’s assault in California.
Often at her facet during formal occasions in Washington, Paul Pelosi is a rich investor who largely stays on the West Coast. They have been married for 59 years and have 5 grownup youngsters and plenty of grandchildren.
Earlier this yr, he pleaded responsible to misdemeanor driving beneath the affect expenses associated to a May crash in California’s wine nation and was sentenced to 5 days in jail and three years of probation.
The Pelosi house within the rich neighborhood has been the scene of a number of protests previously few years. After Nancy Pelosi was seen on video getting her hair carried out at a salon whereas many have been shut down during the coronavirus pandemic, stylists protested exterior with curling irons. Members of the Chinese group protested lately earlier than Pelosi’s journey to Taiwan.
During debates over the federal stimulus package deal, protesters scrawled anarchy indicators in black paint throughout the storage door, alongside with “cancel lease,” and “we would like every little thing.” They left a pig’s head on the driveway.
Yet the dominant emotions Friday have been of assist and concern.
“We have been to many occasions with the Pelosis during the last 2 many years and we have had a lot of events to speak about each of our households and the challenges of being a part of a political household. Thinking in regards to the Pelosi household at this time,” tweeted Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
At the Capitol, Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the Senate president professional tempore and third within the presidential line of succession, mentioned he had recognized Paul Pelosi “eternally.” He mentioned, “It’s simply horrible.”
Congressional correspondent Lisa Mascaro and AP writers Colleen Long and Michael Balsamo reported from Washington. AP writers Kevin Freking and Mary Clare Jalonick contributed from Washington, Juliet Williams from San Francisco, Stefanie Dazio from Los Angeles, Bernard Condon and News Researcher Jennifer Farrar from New York, and Seung Min Kim from Philadelphia. Michelle Smith and Ali Swanson additionally contributed.