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Frightening Pelosi attack details emerge from San Francisco court documents

Pelosi attack draws scrutiny upon Capitol Police security procedures
Pelosi attack draws scrutiny upon Capitol Police security procedures 01:58

SAN FRANCISCO -- Pelosi attack suspect David DePape was on a "suicide mission" to "take them all out," and his list of potential targets included prominent state and federal politicians, their relatives, and a local college professor.

The frightening details that led to the violent hammer assault early last Friday morning of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband, Paul, during a break-in at the couple's San Francisco home came to light in the detaining document filed by San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins.

It leaves little doubt of the dangers Pelosi and other politicians face in the current turbulent political landscape.

The 2:27 a.m. attack began with DePape broken out a window to gain entrance to the home -- an act that took several attempts.

"Defendant was surprised when he found Mr. Pelosi still asleep after making some so much noise to gain entry," the court documents revealed.

Then the tense encounter began.

"Standing over Mr. Pelosi's bedside just after 2:00 a.m., Defendant startled Mr. Pelosi awake by asking 'Are you Paul Pelosi?' Defendant carried a large hammer in his right hand and several white, plastic zip ties in his left hand. Defendant then repeated, 'Where's Nancy? Where's Nancy?' Still groggy from being suddenly awoken, Mr. Pelosi responded,  'She's not here.'"

Once awakened Paul Pelosi tried repeatedly to defuse the situation while still attempting to alert police. 

When Pelosi asked DePape why he wanted to see his wife, the suspect answered according to the court document:

"'Well, she's number two in line for the presidency, right?'" When Mr. Pelosi agreed, Defendant responded that they are all corrupt and 'we've got to take them all out.'"

San Francisco police said officers responded to the 2600 block of Broadway to a  911 call from Pelosi. The court document reveals it was Paul Pelosi who opened the door for the officers.

"Mr. Pelosi stood up and walked to the bathroom where his phone was charging," according to the court documents. "Standing in the bathroom, Mr. Pelosi grabbed his phone, turned it on, called 911, and put the phone on speaker. Watching Mr. Pelosi, Defendant stood about three feet away, still holding the large hammer and the zip ties."

Overhearing the conversation, DePape shouted out to the dispatcher -- "My name is David...I'm a friend of theirs." A statement the dispatcher discounted -- fortunately for Pelosi. 

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," SFPD Chief Bill 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.

"Pelosi remained unresponsive for about three minutes, waking up in a pool of his own blood," the court document revealed.

Without any questioning, DePape told officers and medics at the scene -- "I'm sick of the insane level of lies coming out of Washington, D.C. I came here to have a little chat with his wife. 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."

When asked by officers if he had any other plans, DePape "named several targets, including a local professor, several prominent state and federal politicians, and relatives of those state and federal politicians."

DePape has been charged by federal prosecutors with attempted kidnapping and assault. On the local and state level, Jenkins charged him with attempted murder, residential burglary, assault, elder abuse and threatening a public official.


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