WASHINGTON (AP) — A man charged with attacking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer told police he wanted to take the Democratic leader hostage and “break her kneecap.” Monday.
In a chilling federal complaint, officials said David DePap, 42, with zip ties and tape in his rucksack, broke into the couple’s home in San Francisco early Friday morning, killing him at the age of 82. Go upstairs where Paul Pelosi was sleeping and say “Nancy”.
When a startled Paul Pelosi told the intruder that she wasn’t there, DePap said he would wait, even after being told she hadn’t been home for several days. I started taking out the twist ties to tie it down.
The federal filing contrasts with the teasing jokes and conspiracy theories about Pelosi’s attack that are circulating among far-right figures and even some leading Republicans just a week before the hotly contested midterm elections. target. The San Francisco district attorney and police chief said the attack was intentional.
“By breaking Nancy’s kneecap, she would need to be brought before Congress, which would show that there were consequences for the other members of Congress,” the complaint said.
DePap told police of his plan to take House Speaker Pelosi hostage and “talk to her”, deeming her “the leader of a mob of lies told by Democrats,” the complaint, page 8, says.
“If she told Depapu the ‘truth,’ he let her go, and if she ‘lieted,’ he was going to break ‘her kneecap,’ the complaint alleges. .
DePape faces federal charges of influencing, obstructing, and retaliating against federal employees by threatening or harming family members. He has also been charged with attempted kidnapping of a U.S. public official for performing official duties.
It was not immediately clear if Depap had a lawyer who could speak on his behalf.
DePape, a Canadian citizen who legally entered the United States in 2000, is not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and has remained in the United States since his visa expired, according to U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity. I have been staying here for a long time.
The family described DePape as estranged, and to some in San Francisco he was known as an activist who advocated nudity, seemingly embracing various conspiracy theories. For years, he lived in a residential garage in Richmond, California, the complaint states.
The announcement of the federal indictment came at a time when the San Francisco district attorney was also due to announce the state’s criminal charges.
The attack was a disturbing echo of the Jan. 6, 2021 riots at the Capitol, where a mob seeking to overturn Donald Trump’s election loss to Joe Biden stormed the hall, calling out “Nancy Where are you?” he called ominously. Some had zip ties.
After Paul Pelosi called 911, police were dispatched to his home in upscale Pacific Heights around 2:20 am on Friday. According to police, DePappe broke into the rear glass door and went upstairs to confront Paul Pelosi. Punched Pelosi at least once before being tackled.
DePape was arrested Friday on charges of attempted murder, elder abuse and robbery in a gruesome attack that has amplified a toxic political climate ahead of the Nov. 8 midterm elections. He is scheduled to be arraigned in San Francisco on Tuesday.
Paul Pelosi is hospitalized in San Francisco after undergoing surgery for a fractured skull and other injuries. Unlike the president, the congressional leader can keep himself safe, but not his family.
In an ambulance to the hospital, Paul Pelosi told police he had never seen Depapu before.
DePape told police that it would be difficult to break through the glass door with a hammer, and he went upstairs and told the sleeping Paul Pelosi to wake up. rice field.
After Paul Pelosi told the intruders that his wife was not home, he asked DePelosi how he could resolve the situation. While they were talking, Paul went to the restroom and called 911.
Depapu told investigators he knew Paul Pelosi had called 911, but he didn’t leave.
The federal complaint also said Depapu wanted to “use Nancy to lure another person,” but the complaint doesn’t provide other details of the plan.
San Francisco district attorney Brooke Jenkins has strongly denied conspiracy theories about the attack, confirming that the perpetrators were targeting Democratic leaders when they broke into the couple’s home.
“When the suspect entered Pelosi’s house, he was actually looking for Ms. Pelosi,” Jenkins told reporters in San Francisco late Sunday.
“There is nothing to suggest that the two men knew each other prior to this incident.
The district attorney’s remarks came as a crude commentary on an attack circulated on social media. The San Francisco police chief said the attack was aimed at Nancy Pelosi.
Elon Musk tweeted a fringe website conspiracy theory to his millions of followers last weekend, then deleted it. His acquisition of Twitter raised concerns that social media platforms would no longer try to curb misinformation and hate speech.
Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., downplayed the attack on Paul Pelosi and tweeted a crude joke about it.
Tensions are rising with record security threats to lawmakers and other officials amid the escalating political climate a week before the midterm elections.
The incident raised new security concerns for lawmakers and other elected officials ahead of the midterm elections.
After nearly 10,000 threats against members of Congress last year, Capitol Police advised lawmakers to take precautionary measures. Chief Tom Munger, who heads the U.S. Capitol Police Department, said the threat from lone-wolf attackers is growing, and the most significant threat facing police is the historically large number of threats to lawmakers, with only a few years left. Thousands more than before, he said. .
The speaker’s husband’s beatings are followed by other attacks and threats. This summer, a man with a gun, knife and zip ties was arrested near the home of Judge Brett Kavanaugh in Maryland after threatening to kill him. In 2017, Republican Rep. Steve Scalis was seriously injured when a Bernie Sanders supporter opened fire on a Republican at a congressional baseball game practice.
AP writer Stephanie Dazio reports from Los Angeles. Contributed by his AP writer Michael Balsamo of Washington and his Elliot Spagat of San Diego.