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Paul Pelosi faces ‘long recovery process’ after hammer attack

Nov. 1, 2022 Updated Tue., Nov. 1, 2022 at 12:51 p.m.

U.S. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, left, and her husband Paul Pelosi, pose for the media outside of 10 Downing Street in central London, on Sept. 16, 2021. Paul Pelosi faces a long recovery after an intruder attacked him with a hammer on Oct. 28 in their San Francisco home.    (Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)
U.S. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, left, and her husband Paul Pelosi, pose for the media outside of 10 Downing Street in central London, on Sept. 16, 2021. Paul Pelosi faces a long recovery after an intruder attacked him with a hammer on Oct. 28 in their San Francisco home.   (Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)
By Richard Winton and Alexandra E. Petri Los Angeles Times

Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, faces a “long recovery process” after an intruder broke in to the couple’s San Francisco home Friday and attacked him with a hammer, her office said.

In a statement, Pelosi’s office said Paul Pelosi is making “steady progress” but released no other specific details.

Pelosi is recovering from what officials said was a successful surgery Friday at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital “to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands.”

On Sunday, Paul Pelosi Jr., the couple’s son, told reporters that doctors “are rebuilding him slowly.”

Federal prosecutors said David DePape entered the Pelosis’ home in the exclusive Pacific Heights neighborhood after smashing a rear glass door with a hammer and then went to the second floor of the house. There, he found Pelosi, 82, sleeping and repeatedly shouted, “Where’s Nancy?” Paul Pelosi was alone at the time of the break-in; his wife was in Washington with her protective detail.

Realizing the potential danger, Pelosi managed to make a quick, surreptitious phone call to 911 and left the line open, authorities said. A 911 dispatcher realized something was seriously wrong and immediately sent police to the address. Officers were told there was a man inside the home named David, whom Pelosi did not know.

A private security guard told police he had seen a man dressed in all black and walking with a backpack shortly before hearing a loud banging before police arrived at the residence, according to a federal charging affidavit against DePape.

When police officers arrived about 2:30 a.m., Pelosi opened the door, and they saw DePape and Pelosi with their hands on a hammer. Officers told the men to drop the weapon, but DePape gained control and swung it, striking Pelosi in the head, authorities said.

Officers immediately restrained DePape, while Pelosi appeared to be unconscious on the floor.

Federal prosecutors allege DePape was hoping to find Nancy Pelosi and intended to kidnap her and break her kneecaps.

In a voluntary interview with San Francisco police after his arrest, DePape said he set out to hold Nancy Pelosi hostage and interrogate and torture her, according to the federal charges.

“If Nancy were to tell DePape the truth, he would let her go, and if she lied, he was going to break her kneecaps,” police said the suspect told them. DePape believed “that Nancy would not have told the truth,” according to a federal affidavit.

In the course of the interview, DePape said he considered Pelosi the “leader of the pack” of lies told by the Democratic Party. He later told investigators “that by breaking Nancy’s kneecaps, she would then have to be wheeled into Congress, which would show other members of Congress there were consequences to actions.”

DePape also said in the interview he wanted to use Pelosi to lure another individual to the San Francisco home.

Nancy Pelosi told her congressional colleagues on Sunday that she and her family were “heartbroken and traumatized” by Friday’s events.

“Our children, our grandchildren and I are heartbroken and traumatized by the life-threatening attack on our Pop,” Pelosi said in the statement, which was addressed to members of the U.S. House of Representatives. “We are grateful for the quick response of law enforcement and emergency services and for the lifesaving medical care he is receiving.”

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