• U.S.

Paul Pelosi’s Alleged Attacker Called a Reporter with a Chilling Message After Video Release

4 minute read

A Bay Area television station said the man accused of attacking Paul Pelosi with a hammer in his Pacific Heights home in October called the station with a message on Friday after a San Francisco Superior Court released audio and video of the attack the same day.

From the San Francisco County Jail, David DePape, 42, who has been charged with attempted murder, elder abuse, and federal kidnapping charges in connection with the attack, called KTVU’s Amber Lee, telling her that he had an “important message,” and claiming that he carried out the assault on Pelosi because “people’s liberties were under attack.” He also eerily apologized for not hurting more people, the station reported.

He also claimed he had the “names and addresses” of people he claims are responsible for taking away freedom.

“I want to apologize to everyone. I messed up. What I did was really bad,” DePape said on the less than six-minute call, according to KTVU. “I’m so sorry I didn’t get more of them. It’s my own fault. No one else is to blame. I should have come better prepared.”

The station said Friday’s call was “unexpected” and DePape told the reporter she couldn’t ask any follow-up questions because he didn’t want to “jeopardize his case,” but allowed the phone call to be recorded.

Read more: What the GOP Response to the Paul Pelosi Attack Reveals About Our Miserable Political Discourse

One of the videos released from the Oct. 28 attack which occurred around 2:30 a.m., shows DePape breaking a glass door of the home that U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shares with her husband before entering the residence. Authorities say Pelosi was sleeping at the time and that DePape forced him out of bed, but Pelosi was able to call 911 from the bathroom.

DePape realized that he had called 911 and took Pelosi to the home’s entrance, court documents said. Once police arrived, DePape and Pelosi can both be seen on body cam footage holding the hammer before DePape charges toward Pelosi, 82, with the hammer swinging above his head. Officers can then be seen tackling DePape.

Pelosi was knocked unconscious during the attack, but later woke up, authorities said. The actual blow to Pelosi isn’t caught on the footage, but he suffered a skull fracture and injuries to his arm and hand and later had to undergo surgery.

Multiple news agencies petitioned to have the video released after the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office had initially said they would not release exhibits used by the prosecutors in court to the journalists. On Wednesday, a California court ruled that the materials should be made public, and on Friday, 911 calls, body camera footage, and surveillance footage from that night were released.

DePape’s attorneys had also argued that a release of the video would “irreparably damage” his right to a fair trial.

Read more: The Attack on Paul Pelosi and America’s Long History of Political Violence

Nancy Pelosi said she doesn’t plan to watch the video of the attack, and DePape had previously told authorities she was the initial target, but she was in Washington at the time. Since the assault, Nancy Pelosi said she plans to step down from Democratic Party leadership, but will continue to serve in the legislature.

DePape, who has pleaded not guilty, is expected to appear in court on February 23.

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