Assailant shouted ‘Where is Nancy?’ in attack at Pelosi home

Assailant Shouted ‘Where Is Nancy?’ In Attack At Pelosi Home
Pelosi Husband Assaulted, © AP/Press Association Images
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By Kevin Freking, Associated Press

The intruder who attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband in their San Francisco home was searching for the Democratic leader, shouting “Where is Nancy, where is Nancy?” before assaulting Paul Pelosi with a hammer.

That was a chilling echo of the chants during the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol, when rioters trying to stop Joe Biden’s election searched menacingly through the halls for the speaker.


Paul Pelosi was attacked and severely beaten by an assailant with a hammer who broke into the Pelosi home early on Friday, according to people familiar with the investigation.

Pelosi Husband Assaulted
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and her husband Paul (Kevin Wolf/AP)

The intruder confronted him shouting for the speaker’s whereabouts, according to another person briefed on the situation.


“The motive for this attack is still being determined,” said San Francisco Police Chief William Scott at a press briefing.

The suspect was identified as David Depape, Mr Scott said. He was in custody.

“Our officers observed Mr Pelosi and the suspect both holding a hammer,” Mr Scott said. “The suspect pulled the hammer away from Mr Pelosi and violently assaulted him with it. Our officers immediately tackled the suspect, disarmed him, took him into custody, requested emergency backup and rendered medical aid.”

Mr Scott said Depape was being charged with attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse and other charges.


The 82 year-old suffered blunt force injuries to his head and body, according to two people who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing probe.

The suspect was identified as David Depape, two of the people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. He was in custody.

Paul Pelosi was being treated by doctors for bruising, severe swelling and other injuries. Nancy Pelosi’s office said he was expected to make a full recovery.


While the circumstances of the attack were unclear, the attack raised questions about the safety of members of Congress and their families.

Threats to lawmakers are at an all-time high almost two years after the Capitol insurrection. The attack also came just 11 days ahead of mid-term elections in which crime and public safety have emerged as top concerns among Americans.


In 2021, Capitol Police investigated around 9,600 threats made against members of Congress, and members have been physically attacked in recent years.

Former Rep Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head at an event outside a Tucson grocery store in 2011, and Rep Steve Scalise was severely injured when a gunman opened fire on a Republican congressional baseball team practice in 2017.

Members of Congress have received additional dollars for security at their homes, but some have pushed for yet more protection as people have shown up at their homes and as members have received an increasing number of threatening communications.

Capitol Police, tasked with protecting congressional leaders, said Nancy Pelosi was with her protective detail in Washington at the time her husband was attacked.

Pelosi Husband Assaulted
Police tape blocks a street outside the home of Paul Pelosi (Eric Risberg/AP)

Speaker Ms Pelosi, who is second in the line of succession to the president, had just returned this week from a security conference in Europe and is due to keynote an advocacy event on Saturday evening in Washington with Vice President Kamala Harris.

Capitol Police said the FBI and San Francisco police were also investigating. The suspect was in the custody of the San Francisco police.

Often at Nancy Pelosi’s side during formal events in Washington, Paul Pelosi is a wealthy investor who largely remains on the West Coast. They have five adult children and many grandchildren. The two have been married 59 years.

Earlier this year, Paul Pelosi pleaded guilty to misdemeanour driving under the influence charges related to a May crash in California’s wine country and was sentenced to five days in jail and three years of probation.

President Joe Biden and lawmakers from both parties reacted to the assault with shock and expressed their well wishes to the Pelosi family.

“What happened to Paul Pelosi was a dastardly act,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

“I spoke with Speaker Pelosi earlier this morning and conveyed my deepest concern and heartfelt wishes to her husband and their family, and I wish him a speedy recovery.”

“We have been to many events with the Pelosis over the last two decades and we’ve had lots of occasions to talk about both of our families and the challenges of being part of a political family. Thinking about the Pelosi family today,” tweeted Sen Roy Blunt.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that President Joe Biden has also been in contact with Nancy Pelosi.

“The President is praying for Paul Pelosi and for Speaker Pelosi’s whole family,” Ms Jean-Pierre said.

“This morning he called Speaker Pelosi to express his support after this horrible attack. He is also very glad that a full recovery is expected. The president continues to condemn all violence, and asks that the family’s desire for privacy be respected.”

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