A man already in custody in last month’s attack on the husband of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury on charges of assault and attempted kidnapping.
The charges against David DePape stem from the Oct. 28 break-in at the Pelosis’ San Francisco home are the same as but supersede those in an earlier federal complaint that was filed on October 31.
When officers’ responded to Paul Pelosi’s 911 call, they found Paul Pelosi and DePape fighting over a hammer, according to the six—page indictment. When an officer directed DePape to drop the hammer he responded, “ummm nope,” before forcefully swinging it at Paul Pelosi, the indictment said.
The exchange lasted about 15 seconds, and left Pelosi and DePape lying on the floor with blood swelling around Paul Pelosi’s head, the indictment said.
DePape, 42, of Richmond, a San Francisco suburb, was arrested inside the Pelosi residence. When Paul Pelosi called 911, he told officers that he was sleeping when a man he had never seen before entered his bedroom looking for Nancy Pelosi.
Officers later found that a glass door to the back porch had been broken. They recovered a roll of tape, white rope, a second hammer, a pair of rubber and cloth gloves, and zip ties.
The assault roiled the political world days before the hotly contested midterm elections, the first nationwide election since the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol. Threats against lawmakers and election officials have been at all-time highs and authorities have issued warning about rising extremism in the U.S.
DePape’s public defender, Adam Lipson, did not immediately respond to telephone and emailed messages. He last week entered a not guilty plea to related state charges filed against DePape, a fringe activist drawn to conspiracy theories. A San Francisco judge ordered DePape held without bail on the state charges of attempted murder, burglary and elder abuse, and he also has been placed on a federal hold in the case.
He was indicted on federal charges including assault upon an immediate family member of a U.S. official with the intent to retaliate against the official on account of the performance of official duties. A second charge alleges he attempted to kidnap a U.S. official on account of the performance of official duties.
The first charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison and the second a maximum 20 years in prison.