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Video shows struggle for hammer during Pelosi attack

Pelosi, apparently unconscious, can be seen lying face down on the floor in his pajama top and underwear

David DePape
A screenshot from a police body camera video shows David DePape lifting a hammer to strike Paul Pelosi, the husband of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in the couple’s house on October 28, 2022, in San Francisco, California, U.S.SAN FRANCISCO DISTRICT ATTORNEY (via REUTERS)

Video released publicly Friday shows the husband of former US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi fighting for control of a hammer with his assailant during a brutal attack in the couple’s San Francisco home last year.

The body-camera footage shows suspect David DePape wrest the tool from 82-year-old Paul Pelosi and lunge toward him with the hammer over his head. The blow to Pelosi occurs out of view and the officers – one of them cursing – rush into the house and jump on DePape.

Pelosi, apparently unconscious, can be seen lying face down on the floor in his pajama top and underwear.

The release comes after a coalition of news agencies, including The Associated Press, sought access to the evidence that prosecutors played in open court last month. The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office had refused to make the exhibits available to journalists.

A state court judge Wednesday ruled there was no reason to keep the video secret.

The evidence includes portions of Paul Pelosi’s 911 call on Oct. 28, as well as video images from Capitol police surveillance cameras, body cameras worn by the two police officers who arrived at the house and video from suspect DePape’s interview with police.

The Capitol Police video shows DePape walk up to a glass-panel door, leave and then return wearing a large backpack and carrying two other bags. He set all the items down and pulled out a hammer that he used to smash the door glass and step through an opening.

DePape has pleaded not guilty in ongoing state and federal cases. He is being held in jail without bail.

Members of Congress have faced a sharp rise in threats in the two years since the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol.

Paul Pelosi was asleep at the couple’s home when DePape allegedly broke in. Nancy Pelosi was in Washington at the time and under the protection of her security detail, which does not extend to family members.

Her husband of nearly 60 years woke up in a pool of his own blood. He later underwent surgery to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands. He has since appeared in public wearing a hat and a glove that covered his wounds.

Police have said DePape told them there was “evil in Washington” and he wanted to harm Nancy Pelosi because she was second in line to the presidency at the time.

DePape told police he was on a “suicide mission,” court documents say, and authorities have said he was drawn to conspiracy theories.

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