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‘Heartbroken and Traumatized’: Nancy Pelosi Responds to Violent Attack on Her Husband

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In her first public statement about the brutal attack on her husband — in which she was the intended target — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her congressional colleagues that she and her family were “heartbroken and traumatized” by Friday’s events.

“Our children, our grandchildren and I are heartbroken and traumatized by the life-threatening attack on our doll,” Pelosi said in the statement, addressed to members of the US House of Representatives. “We are grateful for the prompt response from law enforcement and emergency services and for the life-saving medical care he is receiving.”

Early Friday, an intruder broke into Pelosis’ hillside home in San Francisco’s exclusive Pacific Heights neighborhood.

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Authorities said David DePape, 42, attacked 82-year-old Paul Pelosi with a hammer after yelling, “Where’s Nancy?” several times. Police arrived on the scene after being alerted by a phone call from Paul Pelosi, who managed to hide the call from his attacker.

Nancy Pelosi was in Washington at the time, but has since returned to California to be with her husband, according to news reports.

The President of the House referred briefly to the attacker in her statement.

“Yesterday, a violent man broke into our family home, demanded to confront me and brutally assaulted my husband, Paul,” Pelosi said.

Pelosi also thanked those who expressed their concern and compassion.

“Please know that the outpouring of prayers and warm wishes from so many in Congress is a comfort to our family and helps Paul make progress in his recovery,” she said. “His condition continues to improve.”

In her statement, Pelosi quoted from the Bible:

“We are also comforted by the words of the book of Isaiah: ‘Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and help you. I will support you with my righteous right hand.’”

According to official reports, Paul Pelosi told the intruder to go to the bathroom, then made a covert 911 call on his cell phone and left the line open. Dispatcher Heather Grimes overheard Pelosi talking to his attacker and alerted officers at the scene.

At a news conference Friday, San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott praised Grimes’ quick thinking, as Pelosi could not describe the gravity of the situation because the intruder was close by.

“She had to interpret what she was told,” Scott said at the press conference. “And based on her experience and intuition, she found out that there was more to this incident than what she was told.”

Police arrived at the Pelosi residence about two minutes after being alerted by the dispatcher.

When officers knocked on the front door, Scott said, someone inside opened it. The officers saw Paul Pelosi grapple with his attacker, “each with one hand on a single hammer,” he said.

After officers ordered both men to drop the hammer, the attacker “immediately” pulled the tool from Pelosi and “violently attacked him with the hammer,” Scott said.

Police rounded up the attacker, seized the hammer and took him into custody before calling for backup and starting first aid.

A source aware of the attack said the attacker confronted Paul Pelosi, shouting, “Where’s Nancy? Where’s Nancy?” before the attack took place.

DePape was arrested Friday afternoon on charges of attempted murder, first-degree burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, threat to a family member of a government official, assault on the elder, battery with serious bodily harm, dissuade a witness and injuring a wireless device.

The attack is seen as evidence that the emerging wave of harsh political rhetoric is escalating into violence.

A Times review of DePape’s online accounts indicates that he had drifted into the world of far-right conspiracies, anti-Semitism and hatred.

In a personal blog that DePape kept, posts included topics like “History manipulation,” “Holohoax,” and “It’s okay to be white.” He mentioned 4chan, a favorite message board from the far right. He posted videos of COVID-19 vaccine conspiracies and unfounded claims that the war in Ukraine is a ploy for Jewish people to buy land.

Beneath DePape’s screeds were reports of QAnon, an unfounded theory that former President Trump is at war with a cabal of Satan-worshipping elites who run a child sex ring and control the world.

Paul Pelosi is recovering from surgery at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital “to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands,” said Drew Hammill, a spokesperson for Nancy Pelosi’s office. He is expected to make a full recovery.