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Paul Pelosi attack: Man told cops of 'evil' in Washington

by The Associated Press | December 15, 2022 at 12:00 a.m.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and her husband, Paul Pelosi, arrive at the State Department for the Kennedy Center Honors State Department Dinner, on Dec. 7, 2019, in Washington. The state court case continues against the man accused of breaking into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's home, beating her husband and seeking to kidnap her. Suspect David DePape's preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf, File)

By OLGA R. RODRIGUEZ and STEFANIE DAZIO

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The man accused of attacking the husband of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said there was "evil in Washington" and he was looking to harm Pelosi because she is second in line for the presidency, a San Francisco police sergeant testified Wednesday.

The suspect, David DePape, broke into the Pelosis' San Francisco home on Oct. 28, seeking to kidnap the speaker -- who was out of town -- and instead beat her 82-year-old husband, Paul Pelosi, with a hammer, authorities said. The violence sent shockwaves through the political world.

Sgt. Carla Hurley, who interviewed DePape for an hour the day of the attack, testified Wednesday that the defendant told her of other people he wanted to target, including California Gov. Gavin Newsom, actor Tom Hanks and Hunter Biden, one of President Joe Biden's sons. Hurley did not say whether police had any evidence of a plot against them.

DePape, wearing an orange jumpsuit during a preliminary hearing in state court, has pleaded not guilty to federal and state charges, including attempted murder, burglary and elder abuse. He remains held without bail.

"There is evil in Washington, what they did went so far beyond the campaign. It originates with Hillary (Clinton)," DePape told Hurley, according to her testimony. She said he also remarked, "Honestly, day in day out, they are lying. They go from one crime to another crime to another crime."

Hurley said that DePape told Paul Pelosi he wanted to talk to Nancy Pelosi because "she is the second in line to the presidency."

"They are all crazy and corrupt and we need to take them out," he told Paul Pelosi, according to Hurley.

Hurley said DePape told her that after he saw the lights of a police patrol car, he told Paul Pelosi, "I'm not going to surrender, I am here to fight. If you stop me from going after people, you will take the punishment instead."

Prosecutors presented the hammer that was allegedly used in the assault during Wednesday's proceedings, which were attended by Christine Pelosi, one of the Pelosis' five adult children.

The district attorney's office also played audio of Paul Pelosi's 911 call to San Francisco police in the courtroom and showed video footage -- less than a minute long -- of the attack that was captured on body cameras. The 911 dispatcher has been widely credited with sending two officers to the couple's home despite limited information.

DePape (dih-PAP') told police he was on a "suicide mission" and had plans to target other California and federal politicians, court documents say. Authorities have said he was drawn to conspiracy theories.

DePape allegedly smashed his way into the Pelosis' home, confronted Paul Pelosi, who was sleeping in boxer shorts and a pajama top, and demanded to know where "Nancy" was.

DePape allegedly then told Paul Pelosi that if Nancy Pelosi told him the "'truth', he would let her go and if she 'lied,' he was going to break her kneecaps, " the criminal complaint alleges.

Paul Pelosi was eventually able to call 911 to summon San Francisco police. Officers arrived two minutes later to see the two men struggling over a hammer, and then DePape struck Pelosi at least once before being tackled by officers.

Paul Pelosi was knocked unconscious and woke up in a pool of his own blood. He later underwent surgery to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands.

Print Headline: Paul Pelosi attack: Man told cops of 'evil' in Washington

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