Police: Pelosi suspect wanted to hold House Speaker hostage

Police: Pelosi Suspect Wanted To Hold House Speaker Hostage
Nancy Pelosi and her husband Paul Pelosi, © AP/Press Association Images
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By Associated Press Reporters

The man accused of attacking US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer told police he wanted to hold the Democratic leader hostage and “break her kneecaps” to show other members of Congress there were “consequences to actions”, authorities said on Monday.

In a federal complaint, officials say that David DePape, 42, carrying zip ties and tape in a backpack, broke into the couple’s San Francisco home early on Friday morning, went upstairs where 82-year-old Paul Pelosi was sleeping and demanded to talk to “Nancy”.


When Paul Pelosi told the intruder she was not there, DePape said he would wait — even after being told she would not be home for some days, it said.

Both the San Francisco district attorney and police chief strongly rejected mocking jokes and conspiracy theories about the attack sent out by far-right figures and even some leading Republicans just a week before hard-fought congressional elections.

DePape told police of his plans to hold Speaker Pelosi hostage to “talk to her” and viewed her “as the “leader of the pack” of lies told by the Democratic Party, the eight-page complaint says.

“If she were to tell DePape the ‘truth’, he would let her go and if she ‘lied’, he was going to break “her kneecaps”, the complaint alleges.


“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,” it says.

DePape is charged federally with influencing, impeding, or retaliating against a federal official by threatening or injuring a family member. He also faces one count of attempted kidnapping of a United States official on account of the performance of official duties.

The announcement of the federal charges came as San Francisco’s district attorney was set to announce state criminal charges as well.

It was not immediately clear whether DePape had a lawyer who could speak on his behalf.


DePape was arrested on Friday on suspicion of attempted murder, elder abuse and burglary. He is expected to be arraigned on Tuesday in San Francisco.

Paul Pelosi remains in hospital in San Francisco after undergoing surgery for a fractured skull and other injuries.

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