The video shows the fight for the hammer during the attack on Pelosi
Body camera footage shows suspect David DePape snatching the tool from 82-year-old Paul Pelosi and lunging at him with the hammer above his head.
Video released Friday shows the husband of former US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi battling with her attacker for control of a gavel moments before he was struck in an attack brutal assault at the couple’s home in San Francisco last year.
Body camera footage shows suspect David DePape snatching the tool from 82-year-old Paul Pelosi and lunging at him with the hammer above his head. The blow to Pelosi occurs out of view of the camera and the officers – one of them swearing – rush into the house and jump on DePape.
Pelosi, apparently unconscious, can be seen lying face down in his pajama top and underwear. Officials later said he woke up to a pool of his own blood.
The release comes after a coalition of news organizations, including the Associated Press, requested access to evidence that prosecutors played in open court last month. The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office had refused to make the exhibits available to reporters.
A state court judge ruled on Wednesday that there was no reason to keep the video secret.
The evidence includes portions of Paul Pelosi’s Oct. 28 911 call, as well as video from a Capitol Police surveillance camera, a body camera worn by one of the two officers who arrived first in home and an audio recording of almost 18 minutes. of DePape’s interview with the police.
Capitol Police video shows DePape walking towards a glass door shortly after 2 a.m., leaving and then returning with a large backpack and two more bags. He put the items down and pulled out a hammer, pausing to put on some gloves, and used it to smash the glass in the door so he could fit through an opening.
DePape has pleaded not guilty in pending state and federal cases. He is being held without bail. He faces charges of attempted murder, elder abuse and assault on an immediate family member of a federal public servant.
San Francisco Assistant Public Defender Adam Lipson, who represents DePape and had opposed the release of the evidence in a court filing, called the release of the video a “terrible mistake” in a statement Friday.
“The images are inflammatory and could fuel unfounded theories about this case, and we are extremely concerned about Mr. DePape’s ability to obtain a fair trial,” Lipson said.
Members of Congress have faced a sharp increase in threats in the two years since the January 6, 2021 uprising at the United States Capitol.
During the January 6 attack, rioters sang menacingly for the speaker as they rampaged through the halls in an attempt to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump in the presidential election . A man was found guilty this week of eight counts after he put his feet up on a desk in Pelosi’s office and left him a note punctuated with a sexist expletive.
Paul Pelosi was sleeping at the couple’s home when DePape – who was 42 at the time, about half Pelosi’s age – reportedly burst in. Nancy Pelosi was in Washington at the time and under the protection of her security department, which does not extend to family members.
Paul Pelosi then underwent surgery to repair a fractured skull and serious injuries to his right arm and hands. He has since appeared in public wearing a hat and glove to cover his injuries.
Speaking at the United States Capitol after the video was released, Nancy Pelosi said her husband “is making progress but it will take more time.”
“I didn’t hear the 911 call. I didn’t hear the confession. I didn’t see the burglary. And I have absolutely no intention of seeing the fatal assault on my husband,” she said.
The body camera video of San Francisco officer Kolby Wilmes begins with officers approaching the brick house and knocking on the door. It takes about 20 seconds for the door to open and during this time the agents discuss whether they have the correct house.
When the door opens, Paul Pelosi says, “Hi guys, how are you?”
The two men face the officers at the door. Initially, the hammer is in shadow and it takes about five seconds before a flashlight shows DePape holding the handle of a hammer with his right hand and squeezing Pelosi’s right hand, who is gripping the head of the hammer. , with his left hand. The struggle is not apparent in the first seconds.
“How’s it going, man?” asks the officer.
“It’s okay,” DePape replies.
“Drop the hammer,” the officer said.
DePape says no and begins to pull him out of Pelosi’s grip. Pelosi says, “Hey, hey.”
DePape takes control of the hammer and finishes with his right and delivers a vicious blow as Pelosi disappears out of sight and the officers rush in. Officers called for backup as they struggled with DePape and Pelosi lay on the ground.
In an interview with San Francisco Police Lt. Carla Hurley after his arrest, DePape said he didn’t regret the attack even though it wasn’t aimed at Nancy Pelosi, his target.
Surprised to find Paul Pelosi at home, DePape described most of their meeting as “pretty friendly,” but said he attacked him with the hammer because he was on a mission.
DePape said the attack happened very quickly and he recalled how it took officers by surprise.
“I’m taking the hammer away from him, into action,” he enthused in the voice. “They spring into action. They’re like on me instantly.
DePape said he couldn’t remember how many times he punched Pelosi, but said it was with “full force.”
DePape told Hurley that he was suing Nancy Pelosi for lying to the American public and that he planned to hold her hostage for her crimes. He believed in the discredited plot that Democrats stole the 2020 election from Trump.
He said he planned to hold her hostage and would “break her kneecaps” if she lied.
When Hurley asked why DePape didn’t leave when he realized Nancy Pelosi wasn’t home and the police were on the way, he compared himself to the Founding Fathers, explaining that he refused to surrender.
US Capitol Police investigated nearly 10,000 threats against members last year, more than double the number four years earlier. The department faced heavy criticism following the attack on Paul Pelosi. The agency has access to around 1,800 cameras, including one on the couple’s home which was unmonitored during the attack because the responder was not there.
Public officials across the United States, from local school board members to election workers, have also faced harassment and intimidation.
This month, a former Republican candidate for a State House seat in New Mexico was arrested in a series of shootings targeting the homes or offices of elected Democrats and a Kansas man was convicted of threatened a GOP congressman.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden continues to condemn political violence.
“I think you don’t even need a video to know how horrible and unconscionable the attack on Paul Pelosi was, and to be very honest, it’s a miracle that Paul wasn’t more seriously injured and we are grateful that he is on the way and continuing to recover,” she said on Friday.
Associated Press writer Lindsay Whitehurst in Washington contributed to this report.