Video footage released Friday of the hammer attack on former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s husband shows the dramatic moment in which an intruder and Paul Pelosi jockeyed for control of a hammer before the man later identified as David DePape swings it out of frame.
The clip starts with an officer opening the door and finding both men in the foyer. Mr. Pelosi, who was awoken in the middle of the night, is not wearing pants or shoes and is holding the same hammer as the intruder.
The officer greets the men and exchanges pleasantries with them, asking what is going on.
“Everything’s good,” Mr. DePape says.
The officer says, “Drop the hammer.”
The intruder refuses, saying “Um, nope.” He takes it away from Mr. Pelosi and suddenly swings it at him as he tries to step away.
The officers rush in while uttering profanities and arrest Mr. DePape while Mr. Pelosi lies — still — next to them.
“Give me your f—-ing hand!” the officers say at one point.
Heavy breathing, which may be that of the injured Mr. Pelosi, can be heard on the tape.
Superior Court Judge Stephen M. Murphy ordered the release of the footage — taken by surveillance cameras and police body cameras — after media outlets pushed for it to become public.
The judge noted that the footage had been shown in court at a preliminary hearing. Prosecutors had argued against the release, fearing it would stir online conspiracy theories or disrupt Mr. DePape’s right to a fair trial.
On a recording of a 911 call that was also released, the dispatcher tries to understand Mr. Pelosi’s predicament and whether he knows the intruder.
Mr. Pelosi tries to speak calmly and carefully because Mr. DePape is standing right next to him.
“I’ve got a problem, but he thinks everything’s good,” Mr. Pelosi says. “This gentleman just came into the house and he wants to wait here for my wife to come home.”
Mr. Pelosi asks if the Capitol Police were around because they would often protect Mrs. Pelosi, given her position as House speaker.
“He told me not to do anything. … He’s telling me to put the phone down and just do what he says,” Mr. Pelosi tells the dispatcher.
On the call, Mr. DePape tells Mr. Pelosi that his name is “David.” He claims to be a friend.
Mr. Pelosi tells the dispatcher he doesn’t know who Mr. DePape is and repeats that he is making him hang up.
Mr. DePape, 42, has been charged with attempted murder and several other charges. He has pleaded not guilty.
Court documents said Mr. DePape broke into the San Francisco home around 2 a.m. Oct. 28 and found Mr. Pelosi, 82, in the bedroom.
The attacker demanded to know where Mrs. Pelosi was and Mr. Pelosi said she wasn’t in town and wouldn’t be back for days.
Mr. DePape said he would wait, though Mr. Pelosi was able to excuse himself to the bathroom and call 911.
Among other things, police found Mr. DePape possessed zip ties, a roll of tape, a white rope, a hammer, gloves and a journal.
Mr. DePape told officers he wanted to hold Mrs. Pelosi hostage and if she told “the truth,” he would let her go, and if she “lied,” he would “break her kneecaps.”
Mr. Pelosi told police he’d never seen Mr. DePape before.
Mr. Pelosi required surgery for a skull fracture. He attended a Kennedy Center event with his wife in December.
Mrs. Pelosi recently said her husband is progressing but his recovery will take at least three more months.
“We continue to thank people for all of their prayers — that they continue to send us,” Mrs. Pelosi said Friday in a short statement at the Capitol. “He is making progress but it will take more time.”
Mrs. Pelosi said she will not watch the video.
“I have absolutely no intention of seeing the deadly assault on my husband’s life,” she said. “I won’t be making any more statements about this case as it proceeds except to, again, thank people and inform them of Paul’s progress.”
• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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