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DA: Paul Pelosi made 911 call that may have saved his life

Nancy Pelosi hurriedly returns to S.F. as husband recovers from attack
Nancy Pelosi hurriedly returns to S.F. as husband recovers from attack 02:27

SAN FRANCISCO  -- Amid the chaotic struggle with intruder David DePape inside the family's San Francisco home, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband, Paul, made a 911 call that likely saved his life.

Details of the 2:27 a.m. struggle have been emerging ever since the attack that left Paul Pelosi hospitalized with severe head and arm injuries on Friday.

One tidbit emerged from a CNN interview with San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, who explained how San Francisco police arrived so quickly, ending the violent attack of Pelosi with a hammer and subduing the enraged DePape.

"It is really thanks to Mr. Pelosi having the ability to make that call, and truly the attention and the instincts of that dispatcher to realize that something was wrong in that situation and to make the police call a priority so they got there within two minutes to respond to this situation," Jenkins told CNN's Erin Burnett on Friday.  

David DePape AP Photo/Eric Risberg

San Francisco police chief Bill Scott also commended the dispatcher for her quick action when taking the 911 call that led to the rapid arrival of SFPD police units.

"She had to interpret what she was being told, and based on her experience and intuition, she basically figured out there was something more to this situation than what she was being told," said Scott. "Her actions, in my opinion, resulted in both a higher-priority dispatch and a faster police response."

"I think this was life-saving," Scott added.

ALSO READ: Pelosi attack suspect David DePape embraced hate speech, multiple conspiracy theories

Police were still trying to determine an exact motive and how DePape entered through a back door and circumvented the home's security measures.  

When San Francisco police officers arrived, Pelosi and DePape were wrestling over a hammer.

"When officers arrived on scene, they encountered an adult male and Mrs. Pelosi's husband, Paul," Scott told reporters. "Our officers observed Mr. Pelosi and the suspect both holding a hammer. 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," he added.

Police investigate attack at Pelosi home
Police investigators work outside the home of Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in San Francisco, Friday, Oct. 28, 2022.  AP Photo/Eric Risberg

Pelosi suffered blunt force trauma to his head and body, according to two people with knowledge of the investigation into the attack who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity. He was being treated by doctors at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.

DePape was also transported to the hospital with undisclosed injuries. Jenkins called it a 'horrific attack' and would be dealt with quickly.

"This horrific attack will not go unanswered," she posted on social media. "The investigation is ongoing. As soon as it is complete, we will file charges and seek to prosecute the suspect to the fullest extent of the law."

Scott said DePape will be booked into jail on attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, burglary and other felony charges.

ALSO READ: Pelosi home attack sends cold shiver across political landscape; politicians 'horrified and disgusted'  

Scott also noted that the incident was not a random break-in and assault.

SFPD chief Scott expresses disgust over hammer attack that hospitalized Paul Pelosi 07:52

"We also know, based on our investigation at this point, that this was not a random act. This was intentional. And it's wrong. Our elected officials are here to do the business of their cities, of their counties, of their states and this nation," a visibly upset Scott said. "Their families don't sign up for this to be harmed, and it is wrong. And everybody should be disgusted about what happened this morning." 

The case is being jointly investigated by San Francisco police, the FBI, U.S. Capitol Police, and federal and local prosecutors.

On Friday, a San Francisco General Hospital source told KPIX that Pelosi underwent a medical procedure for his head wounds. He was hit several times in the head with the hammer, including one blow that was significant, the source said. Pelosi also remained conscious throughout the attack.

Hammill later confirmed Pelosi "underwent successful surgery to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands. His doctors expect a full recovery."    

"The Speaker and her family are thankful for the outpouring of support and prayers from friends, constituents and people around the country," the statement from Hammill concluded. "The Pelosi family is immensely grateful to Mr. Pelosi's entire medical team and the law enforcement officers who responded to the assault. The family appreciates respect for their privacy during this time."

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