Attack Suspect Wanted to Hold Pelosi Hostage, Prosecutors Say

On Monday, criminal charges were expected to be filed against a man who is accused of hitting Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul with a hammer three days ago after breaking into the couple’s home in San Francisco.

On Tuesday, there will be an arraignment hearing. DePape was being held in a San Francisco jail after being booked on suspicion of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, battery, burglary, threatening a public official or family member, and other felonies.

Paul Pelosi was attacked on Friday. According to his wife’s office, he had surgery for a broken skull and injuries to his hands and right arm, but doctors expect him to make a full recovery.

The incident made people worry about political violence less than two weeks before the midterm elections on Nov. 8. Those elections will decide who controls the House of Representatives and the Senate. They come at a time when U.S. politics are the most hostile and divided they have been in decades.

A few hours after the attack, San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said that it was not a random act of violence. A person who knew about the situation and spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity said that the intruder asked, “Where is Nancy?” before attacking.

Nancy Pelosi Husband Attacker
Nancy Pelosi Husband Attacker

If investigators find that the suspect planned to attack the speaker, he could also face federal charges. CBS News said on Monday that unnamed law enforcement sources said DePape had a list of people he wanted to hurt.

At the time of the attack, the House Speaker, a Democrat who is 82 years old and second in the constitutional line of succession to the U.S. presidency, was in Washington.

She flew to San Francisco to be with her husband, and released a statement on Saturday expressing dismay that “a violent man broke into our family home, demanded to confront me and brutally attacked my husband Paul.”

After being arrested at the house, DePape was taken to a hospital in San Francisco, but it wasn’t clear if he was there for medical care, mental health care, or both.

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