SAN FRANCISCO — Paul Pelosi, the husband of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was “violently” attacked after an intruder broke into the couple’s San Francisco home early Friday morning in what a law enforcement source said appeared to be a targeted attack.
The source told The Times that Paul Pelosi, 82, was attacked with a hammer and sustained numerous upper-body blows. He was taken to a hospital and is expected to make a full recovery, Drew Hammill, a spokesperson for the Democratic speaker’s office, said in a statement.
At a brief news conference Friday, San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said officers responded around 2:27 a.m. to reports of a break-in at the Pelosi home in the Pacific Heights neighborhood.
Upon arrival, officers encountered an adult male and Paul Pelosi “both holding a hammer,” Scott said.
The suspect pulled the hammer away from Pelosi and began violently striking him, the police chief said. Officers tackled the suspect, disarmed him and took him into custody.
Scott identified the suspect as David Depape, 42.
Depape was taken to a hospital and will be booked at the San Francisco County Jail on suspicion of attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse and burglary, Scott said.
“The motive for this attack is still being determined,” Scott said.
Brooke Jenkins, the San Francisco district attorney, said her office is “working closely” with authorities “and will proceed with the appropriate charges as things unfold.”
Police officers rendered medical aid to Pelosi at the scene before he was taken to a hospital, Scott said.
Nancy Pelosi was in Washington and not at home at the time of the attack, Hammill said.
“The Speaker and her family are grateful to the first responders and medical professionals involved, and request privacy at this time,” Hammill said in the statement.
President Joe Biden spoke with the speaker Friday morning “to express his support after this horrible attack,” Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, said in statement.
“The President is praying for Paul Pelosi and for Speaker Pelosi’s whole family,” the statement said. “The President continues to condemn all violence, and asks that the family’s desire for privacy be respected.”
Vice President Kamala Harris wrote on Twitter that she and her husband, Doug Emhoff, “are appalled by the attack on Paul Pelosi” and that “the entire Pelosi family is in our hearts and we wish him a speedy recovery.”
The U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement that it is assisting the FBI and the San Francisco Police Department in the investigation.
According to the Capitol Police, special agents with the agency arrived on scene, and investigators from the organization’s Threat Assessment Section have been sent from the East Coast to assist the FBI and the San Francisco police with the investigation.
Pacific Heights, where the Pelosis live, is one of San Francisco’s most exclusive neighborhoods. On Friday, black and white police cruisers were parked near the house, and both San Francisco and federal law enforcement officers were present outside.
Aerial news footage showed a back patio door with shattered glass.
Images of the four-bedroom brick home, built in 1938, are regularly featured on conservative websites.
The house has been the site of various protests in the past. Last year, someone used black spray paint to write a large letter “A,” for “anarchy,” on the garage door, and a severed pig’s head was left in front of the home.
The attack on Paul Pelosi comes 11 days ahead of the midterm election. Nancy Pelosi has been in campaign mode, raising millions for candidates and pushing to maintain the majority hold that Democrats have on the House as the party’s power hangs in the balance.
Although the motive for the assault remains undetermined, the violence has sparked alarm in part because of heightened concern about the safety of public officials at their homes and offices, particularly in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, where Nancy Pelosi was one of the targets.
In June, a Simi Valley man was charged with attempted murder of a U.S. Supreme Court justice after being found with a gun, knife and pepper spray near the home of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh in Maryland.
Threats against members of Congress have increased dramatically over the last five years, according to data from the Capitol Police — from 3,939 cases in 2017 to 9,625 cases in 2021.
During the first three months of 2022, the latest time period for which data is available, Capitol Police have opened roughly 1,820 cases, the agency said.
Capitol Police said in an email to The Times that, for safety reasons, it “does not discuss potential security measures for Members.”
Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., Senate majority leader, said in a statement that “what happened to Paul Pelosi was a dastardly act” and that he spoke with Nancy Pelosi on Friday to extend his “deepest concern and heartfelt wishes” to the Pelosi family.
On Twitter, Meghan McCain, daughter of the late senator and former Republican presidential nominee John McCain said Friday that she felt “absolutely sick, horrified and disgusted” about the news of Paul Pelosi.
“What in God’s name is happening in this country?! Everyone join me and send support, love, prayers, anything you can to Speaker Pelosi, her husband and the entire Pelosi family,” she wrote. “This is a broken world.”
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