AP

Officials: Suspect in Pelosi attack was on ‘suicide mission’

Nov 1, 2022, 11:26 AM | Updated: Nov 2, 2022, 3:07 pm

San Francisco deputy public defender Adam Lipson, attorney for David DePape, who is accused of atta...

San Francisco deputy public defender Adam Lipson, attorney for David DePape, who is accused of attacking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband Paul Pelosi, leaves his client's arraignment in San Francisco Superior Court on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

(AP Photo/Noah Berger)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The man accused of breaking into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home, beating her husband and seeking to kidnap her told police he was on a “suicide mission” and had plans to target other California and federal politicians, according to a Tuesday court filing.

David DePape was ordered held without bail during his arraignment Tuesday in San Francisco Superior Court. His public defender entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. It was his first public appearance since the early Friday attack.

In the court filing, prosecutors detailed the attack in stark terms as part of their bid to keep DePape behind bars. Paul Pelosi was knocked unconscious by the hammer attack and woke up in a pool of his own blood, the filing said.

DePape’s intent “could not have been clearer,” San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins wrote in the filing: “He forced his way into the Pelosi home intending to take the person third in line to the presidency of the United States hostage and to seriously harm her. Thwarted by Speaker Pelosi’s absence, Defendant continued on his quest and would not be stopped, culminating in the near fatal attack on Mr. Pelosi.”

Without being questioned, DePape told officers and medics at the scene that he was sick of the “lies coming out of Washington D.C.,” the filing said. “I didn’t really want to hurt him, but you know this was a suicide mission. I’m not going to stand here and do nothing even if it cost me my life.”

DePape allegedly told first responders he had other targets, including a local professor as well as several prominent state and federal politicians and members of their families. The filing did not name any potential targets.

“This case demands detention,” Jenkins wrote. “Nothing less.”

Wearing orange jail clothing and with his right arm in a sling, DePape only spoke during his arraignment Tuesday to tell Judge Diane Northway how to pronounce his last name (dih-PAP’).

After the hearing, DePape’s public defender Adam Lipson said he looks forward to providing him with a “vigorous legal defense.” He said his 42-year-old client’s shoulder was dislocated during the arrest.

“We’re going to be doing a comprehensive investigation of what happened. We’re going to be looking into Mr. DePape’s mental state, and I’m not going to talk any further about that until I have more information,” Lipson said.

He later said he was pleased that Paul Pelosi was improving and urged the public not to pass judgment on what he called “a complicated situation.”

The attack on 82-year-old Paul Pelosi sent shockwaves through the political world just days before the hotly contested midterm elections. Threats against lawmakers and elections officials have been at all-time highs in this first nationwide election since the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol, and authorities have issued warnings about rising extremism in the U.S.

DePape faces state charges of attempted murder, burglary and elder abuse. He also faces federal charges including attempted kidnapping of a U.S. official.

While prosecutors have not offered a timeline prior to Friday’s events, Jenkins previously told The Associated Press that the attack appeared premeditated.

“This was not something that he did at the spur of the moment,” she told the AP on Monday.

The court filing said DePape smashed his shoulder through a glass window early Friday in the back of the Pelosis’ Pacific Heights home and confronted a sleeping Paul Pelosi, clad only in boxer shorts and a pajama top.

“Are you Paul Pelosi?” DePape said, standing over him around 2 a.m. holding a hammer and zip ties. “Where’s Nancy? Where’s Nancy?”

A groggy Pelosi told DePape that his wife was not home and would be gone for several days. DePape then allegedly threatened to tie Paul Pelosi up — the first of 10 such threats, the filing says.

Paul Pelosi was eventually able to call 911 from the home’s bathroom, where his cellphone was charging. While speaking to the dispatcher, DePape was gesturing and telling Pelosi to hang up, the filing said.

Pelosi then told the dispatcher that he did not need police, fire or medical assistance but he instead asked “for the Capitol Police because they are usually at the house protecting his wife.”

Moments later the dispatcher heard him interacting with a man and Paul Pelosi said “Uh, he thinks everything’s good. Uh, I’ve got a problem, but he thinks everything’s good.”

Two officers who raced to the home witnessed DePape hit Pelosi with the hammer at least once, striking him in the head, the filing states. Jenkins has said the assault was captured on the officers’ body cameras.

Speaker Pelosi was in Washington at the time and under the protection of her security detail, which does not extend to family members. She quickly returned to San Francisco, where her husband was hospitalized and underwent surgery for a skull fracture and other injuries.

In Washington, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger provided a sobering update Tuesday of security protocols for members of Congress.

Manger said that although many improvements have been made since the Capitol attack, including the hiring of nearly 280 officers by the end of this year, “there is still a lot of work to do.”

“We believe today’s political climate calls for more resources to provide additional layers of physical security for members of Congress,” he said.

Manger said the attack on Pelosi’s husband was “an alarming reminder of the dangerous threats elected officials and public figures face during today’s contentious political climate.”

___

Dazio reported from Los Angeles.

___

Associated Press writers Lisa Mascaro and Michael Balsamo in Washington, DC also contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

An Apache group that has fought to protect land it considers sacred from a copper mining project in...

Associated Press

A US appeals court ruling could allow mine development in central Arizona on land sacred to Apaches

An Apache group that has fought to protect land from a copper mining project in central Arizona suffered a significant blow.

1 hour ago

On Friday, March 1, 2024, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said yogurt sold in the U.S. can ma...

Associated Press

Eating yogurt may reduce risk of type 2 diabetes, FDA says

Eating at least two cups of yogurt a week might reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

3 hours ago

Arizona will not approve new housing construction on the fast-growing edges of metro Phoenix that r...

Associated Press

Arizona Senate passes plan to manage rural groundwater, but final success is uncertain

A plan to manage rural groundwater passed the Arizona Senate amid concerns about the availability of sufficient water for future generations.

2 days ago

A woman pauses while shopping at a Kohl's store in Clifton, N.J., Jan. 26, 2024. On Thursday, Feb. ...

Associated Press

Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge picked up last month in sign of still-elevated prices

An inflation gauge favored by the Federal Reserve increased in January, the latest sign that the slowdown in U.S. consumer price increases is occurring unevenly from month to month.

3 days ago

This undated image provided by Mikel Desmond shows his brother Marcus Tessier, who turned up in Dem...

Associated Press

Missing teen with autism found in New Mexico, about 200 miles away from his Arizona home

A missing teen with autism has been found in New Mexico — about 200 miles away from his home in southern Arizona.

3 days ago

A newly released report on last year’s fatal crash involving a pickup truck and a group of bicycl...

Associated Press

Report suggests steering of vehicle that caused fatal Goodyear bicycle crash worked fine

A new report on last year’s fatal Goodyear bicycle crash has cast doubts about the driver’s claim the vehicle’s steering locked up.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

Officials: Suspect in Pelosi attack was on ‘suicide mission’