Justice Department Releases Criminal Complaint: David DePape Wanted to Break Nancy Pelosi’s Kneecaps
The Justice Department announced federal charges against David DePape, 42, in the attack last Friday on Paul Pelosi, the 82-year-old husband of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), at the couple’s San Francisco home. DePape is being charged with assault on a family member of a U.S. official and one count of attempted kidnapping of a U.S. official, Nancy Pelosi, who was not home at the time.
In the charging documents, the Justice Department, via interviews with Paul Pelosi and DePape lay out the government’s version of events (TGPsummary):
The two men did not know each other. DePape broke into the house via a rear door using a hammer and went upstairs looking for Nancy Pelosi. He found Paul Pelosi in bed and told him he was looking for Nancy. Not finding her home he told Paul he would wait for her. He let Paul go to the bathroom where Paul made a 911 call, which apparently DePape overheard. The two went downstairs where Paul opened the door when police knocked. Paul was not attacked until police arrived when he was apparently beaten unconscious by DePape with a hammer while police confronted the men. DePape had a bag with zip ties, rope, tape, gloves, another hammer and a journal.
DePape said his plan was to hold Nancy Pelosi hostage to get her to tell the truth and let her go if she did tell the truth, but if she lied he would break her kneecaps.
“DEPAPE also later explained that by breaking Nancy’s kneecaps, she would then have to be wheeled into Congress, which would show other Members of Congress there were consequences to actions.”
Both men were interviewed by law enforcement, with DePape reportedly speaking after being read his Miranda rights.
Man Charged with Assault and Attempted Kidnapping Following Breaking and Entering of Pelosi Residence
A California man was charged today with assault and attempted kidnapping in violation of federal law in connection with the break-in at the residence of Nancy and Paul Pelosi in San Francisco on Friday.
According to the complaint, David Wayne DePape, 42, of Richmond, was arrested on Friday inside the Pelosi residence by San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) police officers responding to a 911 call from Paul Pelosi, husband of U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Paul Pelosi later described to police that he had been asleep when DePape, whom he had never seen before, entered his bedroom looking for Nancy Pelosi.
According to the complaint, minutes after the 911 call, two police officers responded to the Pelosi residence where they encountered Paul Pelosi and DePape struggling over a hammer. Officers told the men to drop the hammer, and DePape allegedly gained control of the hammer and swung it, striking Pelosi in the head. Officers immediately restrained DePape, while Pelosi appeared to be unconscious on the ground. As set forth in the complaint, once DePape was restrained, officers secured a roll of tape, white rope, a second hammer, a pair of rubber and cloth gloves, and zip ties from the crime scene, where officers also observed a broken glass door to the back porch.
DePape is charged with one count of assault of an immediate family member of a United States official with the intent to retaliate against the official on account of the performance of official duties, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. DePape is also charged with one count of attempted kidnapping of a United States official on account of the performance of official duties, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
U.S. Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds for the Northern District of California, Special Agent in Charge Robert K. Tripp of the FBI San Francisco Field Office, and Chief J. Thomas Manger of the U.S. Capitol Police made the announcement.
The Special Prosecutions Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California is prosecuting the case.
The FBI San Francisco Field Office, the U.S. Capitol Police, and the San Francisco Police Department are investigating the case.
Here is the Scribd document of the Criminal Complaint against David DePape.
FACTS SUPPORTING PROBABLE CAUSE
Events at the Pelosi House in San Francisco, California on October 28, 2022
9. On October 28, 2022, at 2:23 a.m., San Francisco Dispatch received a 9-1-1 call
from Paul Pelosi (“Pelosi”) located at the Pelosi residence in San Francisco, California. Pelosi
stated words to the effect of there is a male in the home and that the male is going to wait for
Pelosi’s wife. Pelosi further conveyed that he does not know who the male is. The male said his
name is David.
10. At 2:31 a.m., San Francisco Police Department (“SFPD”) Officer Colby Wilmes
responded to the Pelosi residence, California and knocked on the front door. When the door was
opened, Pelosi and DEPAPE were both holding a hammer with one hand and DEPAPE had his
other hand holding onto Pelosi’s forearm. Pelosi greeted the officers. The officers asked them
what was going on. DEPAPE responded that everything was good. Officers then asked Pelosi
and DEPAPE to drop the hammer.
11. DEPAPE pulled the hammer from Pelosi’s hand and swung the hammer, striking
Pelosi in the head. Officers immediately went inside and were able to restrain DEPAPE. While
officers were restraining DEPAPE, Pelosi appeared to be unconscious on the ground.
Officers removed a cell phone, cash, clipper cards, and an unidentified card from DEPAPE’s
right shorts pocket. DEPAPE provided officers his first and last name. After officers asked
DEPAPE if he had an ID on him, DEPAPE said it might be in his backpack on the back porch
and later stated his backpack was near the broken glass. When officers removed DEPAPE from
Pelosi’s residence, police body worn camera footage showed a glass door that appeared to be
laminated glass, broken near the door handle. San Francisco Police Department recovered zip
ties in Pelosi’s bedroom and in the hallway near the front door of the Pelosi residence. In
addition, law enforcement searched DEPAPE’s backpack at the Pelosi residence, and they found,
among other things, a roll of tape, white rope, one hammer, one pair of rubber and cloth gloves,
and a journal.
12. SFPD Officer Colby Wilmes was able to interview a witness, Witness 1, who saw
an individual in all black, carrying a large black bag on his back, walking near the Pelosi
residence where Witness 1 was parked. Witness 1 was working private security at an address
nearby. Witness 1 then heard what sounded like banging on either a door or car and then heard
the sirens within a minute or two.
13. Pelosi was interviewed by SFPD Officer Ariane Starks in the ambulance during
transport to San Francisco General Hospital. Pelosi stated he had never seen DEPAPE before.
Pelosi was asleep when DEPAPE came into Pelosi’s bedroom and stated he wanted to talk to
“Nancy.”1 When Pelosi told him that Nancy was not there, DEPAPE stated that he would sit and
wait. Pelosi stated that his wife would not be home for several days and then DEPAPE reiterated
that he would wait. Pelosi was able to go into the bathroom which is when he was able to call 9-
1-1. Pelosi stated that when the officers arrived, that was when DEPAPE struck him with the
14. In a subsequent interview with law enforcement officers on October 30, 2022,
Paul Pelosi stated that DEPAPE had a hammer with him during the events described above at the
Pelosi residence. Further, the hammer did not belong to the Pelosi family.
DEPAPE’S Interview on October 28, 2022:
15. In a Mirandized and recorded interview of DEPAPE by San Francisco Police
Department Officers, DEPAPE provided the following information:
a. DEPAPE stated that he was going to hold Nancy hostage and talk to her. If
Nancy were to tell DEPAPE the “truth,” he would let her go, and if she “lied,” he
was going to break “her kneecaps.” DEPAPE was certain that Nancy would not
have told the “truth.” In the course of the interview, DEPAPE articulated he
viewed Nancy as the “leader of the pack” of lies told by the Democratic Party.
DEPAPE also later explained that by breaking Nancy’s kneecaps, she would then
have to be wheeled into Congress, which would show other Members of Congress
there were consequences to actions. DEPAPE also explained generally that he
wanted to use Nancy to lure another individual to DEPAPE
b. DEPAPE stated that he broke into the house through a glass door, which was a
difficult task that required the use of a hammer. DEPAPE stated that Pelosi was in
bed and appeared surprised by DEPAPE. DEPAPE told Pelosi to wake up.
DEPAPE told Pelosi that he was looking for Nancy. Pelosi responded that she
was not present. Pelosi asked how they could resolve the situation, and what
DEPAPE wanted to do. DEPAPE stated he wanted to tie Pelosi up so that
DEPAPE could go to sleep as he was tired from having had to carry a backpack to
the Pelosi residence. Around this time, according to DEPAPE, DEPAPE started
taking out twist ties from his pocket so that he could restrain Pelosi. Pelosi
moved towards another part of the house, but DEPAPE stopped him and together
they went back into the bedroom.
c. While talking with each other, Pelosi went into a bathroom, where Pelosi grabbed
a phone to call 9-1-1. DEPAPE stated he felt like Pelosi’s actions compelled him
d. DEPAPE remembered thinking that there was no way the police were going to
forget about the phone call. DEPAPE explained that he did not leave after
Pelosi’s call to 9-1-1 because, much like the American founding fathers with the
British, he was fighting against tyranny without the option of surrender. DEPAPE
reiterated this sentiment elsewhere in the interview.
e. DEPAPE stated that they went downstairs to the front door. The police arrived
and knocked on the door, and Pelosi ran over and opened it. Pelosi grabbed onto
DEPAPE’s hammer, which was in DEPAPE’s hand. At this point in the
interview, DEPAPE repeated that DEPAPE did not plan to surrender and that he
would go “through” Pelosi.
f. DEPAPE stated that he pulled the hammer away from Pelosi and swung the
hammer towards Pelosi. DEPAPE explained that Pelosi’s actions resulted in
Pelosi “taking the punishment instead.”
Items Found at DEPAPE’s Residence
16. On October 29, 2022, law enforcement determined that DEPAPE lived in the
garage of a residence on Shasta Street in Richmond, California, by interviewing the owner of the
premises who confirmed that DEPAPE has resided in the garage for approximately two years.
17. On October 29, 2022, law enforcement searched the garage at the Shasta Street
residence pursuant to a federal search warrant. Among other things, agents seized two hammers,
a sword, and a pair of rubber and cloth gloves. The agents also found evidence that DEPAPE
lived in the garage, including DMV paperwork, IRS letters, and Paypal credit cards.
18. Based on the information above, there is probable cause to believe that David
DEPAPE intentionally assaulted Paul Pelosi in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 115(a)(1)(A) and
attempted to kidnap Speaker Nancy Pelosi in violation of Title 18 U.S.C. §1201(d). Therefore, I
respectfully request that the Court issue a criminal complaint and arrest warrant against
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