Paul Pelosi, husband of House speaker, attacked in SF home

  • by Brody Levesque, Washington Blade
  • Friday October 28, 2022
Share this Post:
Paul Pelosi, right, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was attacked in the couple's San Francisco home early Friday morning. Photo: Courtesy NBC News
Paul Pelosi, right, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was attacked in the couple's San Francisco home early Friday morning. Photo: Courtesy NBC News

Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), is in the hospital after being seriously injured in a home invasion early Friday morning.

He is expected to make a full recovery, his wife's office said in a statement. It also said media reports that he was undergoing brain surgery were inaccurate, as NBC Bay Area News clarified in its report on the attack.

San Francisco Police Department spokesperson Sergeant Adam Lobsinger said that at around 2:27 a.m., uniformed officers responded to the 2600 block of Broadway for a home break-in. During the incident an 82-year-old male was attacked and that a suspect was taken into custody. The suspect has been identified as David DePape, 42.

DePape will be charged with attempted homicide, among other charges, police said.

Politico reported that San Francisco police responded quickly.

"Our officers observed Mr. Pelosi and the suspect both holding a hammer" when they responded at roughly 2:27 a.m., San Francisco Police Chief William Scott told reporters at a Friday morning news conference. "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."

Scott said officers were dispatched at about 2:30 a.m. for a "priority well-being check."

Multiple media outlets have reported that DePape entered through a sliding glass door and shouted, "Where is Nancy? Where is Nancy?"

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that DePape was also hospitalized.

Nancy Pelosi, a strong ally of the LGBTQ community, was in Washington, D.C. along with her Capitol Police protective detail when the assault took place. The Capitol Police, responsible for protecting Congress, said it was working with the FBI and SFPD on the investigation.

Paul Pelosi suffered blunt-force injuries in the attack, as the assailant attacked him with a hammer, the Associated Press reported, citing two sources with knowledge of the investigation.

Gay California state Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), a former chair of the San Francisco Democratic Party and a city supervisor, condemned the attack.

"This attack is terrifying, and the direct result of toxic right wing rhetoric and incitement against Speaker Pelosi and so many other progressive leaders," Wiener stated in a news release. "Paul Pelosi was brutally attacked for being married to one of the strongest Democratic leaders in our nation's history. Paul is a fantastic person and I'm rooting for his recovery.

Wiener noted he has "experienced firsthand how right wing political violence is on the rise in our country." In September, a Contra Costa County jury convicted San Ramon resident Erik Triana, 51, on gun charges and for threatening Wiener's life.

"The violence and threats that we as elected officials - and our families - face every single day badly damage democracy and must end," stated Wiener. "Words have consequences, and without question, the GOP's hate and extremism has bred political violence. We must hold accountable leaders and public figures who incite this violence."

According to media reports, DePape was apparently one of the nudists who protested in the Castro during the debate on Wiener's legislation to ban public nudity when he was a supervisor.

The local Democratic Party, currently led by transgender chair Honey Mahogany, stated in a tweet that it was "horrified by the attack on Paul Pelosi and wish him a speedy recovery. Our thoughts are with Speaker Pelosi and her family in the wake of this unsettling violence and intrusion into their home. We condemn all violence directed to our elected leaders and their families."

Gay Chabot-Las Positas Community College District Trustee Harris Mojadedi tweeted out "healing prayers" to the Pelosi's, adding, "People in public service and their families deserve to feel safe."

Governor Gavin Newsom also issued a statement.

"This heinous assault is yet another example of the dangerous consequences of the divisive and hateful rhetoric that is putting lives at risk and undermining our very democracy and Democratic institutions," Newsom, a former San Francisco mayor and supervisor, stated. "Those who are using their platforms to incite violence must be held to account."

President Joe Biden called Nancy Pelosi on Friday morning to express his support, according to White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre. The White House also released a statement from the president.

"The president is praying for Paul Pelosi and for Speaker Pelosi's whole family. 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," read the statement.

The assault comes less than two weeks before the November 8 midterm elections, in which control of the House and the Senate is at stake. Republicans have been campaigning on concerns about violent crime, as well as inflation and other quality-of-life issues.

Nancy Pelosi has been a lightning rod for political attacks from the far-right as well as a frequent target for Republican criticism, which in this midterm elections cycle has prominently factored into GOP opposition adverts.

"I am scared for our country. I am also very, very angry at the people in the leadership of the GOP who have allowed this cancer to grow on our democracy," tweeted San Francisco District 7 Supervisor Myrna Melgar, who also wished Paul Pelosi "a speedy recovery."

Paul Pelosi, who owns a San Francisco-based real estate and venture capital firm, was convicted of a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence of alcohol after becoming involved in an auto accident in May. He was sentenced to five days in jail in Napa County.

The Chronicle reported that San Francisco Police Department officers are currently stationed outside the Pelosi residence in Pacific Heights, an upscale neighborhood of the city.

The Bay Area Reporter contributed reporting.

Help keep the Bay Area Reporter going in these tough times. To support local, independent, LGBTQ journalism, considerΒ becoming a BAR member.