SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Paul Pelosi said he realized he was in “serious danger” when a stranger broke into the Pacific Heights home he shares with his wife, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Taking the stand Monday in David DePape’s federal trial, Paul Pelosi testified that he was sleeping on the night of October 28, 2022.
Mr. Pelosi said he was woken up when a “very large man” entered his bedroom holding a hammer in one hand, and zip ties in the other.
“He burst in the door, and that wakes me up,” Mr. Pelosi testified for the jury. The home intruder stood in the bedroom doorway and asked, “Where’s Nancy?” Paul Pelosi recalled.
Flanked by four defense attorneys, DePape quietly listened to testimony from the man he’s accused of trying to kill. DePape’s eyes blinked and twitched with nervous tics.
After becoming emotional on the stand, Mr. Pelosi explained to the jury and prosecutor that he had not talked about that night with anyone beyond investigators. Paul Pelosi said, “I have not discussed this incident with anybody. I’ve tried to put it out of my mind. I made the best effort I possibly can to not re-live this.”
DePape has pleaded not guilty to attempted kidnapping of a federal official.
‘I’m going to have to take you out’: Paul Pelosi gives chilling testimony
Paul Pelosi told the court that he tried to remain “as calm as possible,” and told the intruder, “She’s not here. She’s in Washington.” He also reiterated that he had never seen DePape prior to him bursting into the bedroom, which was located on the third floor of the home.
DePape, according to Mr. Pelosi, then said he was going to tie him up while they waited for the Speaker to return.
Paul Pelosi said he tried to use his elevator as an escape route. He testified, “I realized that it was a very serious situation. The first thing I tried to do was get up and try to get to the elevator, because if I can get in the elevator, there’s a phone in the elevator, and I could close the door so he couldn’t get to me. I walked toward the elevator, but he blocked me.”
DePape, Pelosi recalled, told him that Speaker Pelosi was “the leader of the pack,” and that he “had to take her out.”
“Then I got the idea. I went over to my bathroom because I always leave my cellphone in my bathroom. I dialed 911,” Mr. Pelosi said. He had a cryptic phone call with a 911 dispatcher. Paul Pelosi said he was trying to alert the dispatcher that he was in urgent need of help, without aggravating DePape, who was looming next to him with a hammer.
The prosecutor asked if he was able to be candid with the 911 dispatcher. Paul Pelosi answered, “Absolutely not. There was a large man threatening me, told me he was going to take me out. I had to convey to the 911 person that I was in trouble. I was trying to convey to them that there was somebody in the house, without aggravating him.”
“It’s over for me, I’m going to have to take you out,” Pelosi recalled DePape saying.
DePape said he was tired and wanted to take a nap. Mr. Pelosi was able to get DePape to follow him down a long spiral staircase to the first floor by suggesting that he nap down there.
Tipped off by the 911 call, police eventually arrived. “I thought, ‘thank God the police are here,'” Mr. Pelosi recalled.
Two San Francisco Police Department officers’ body cameras recorded the moment that DePape lunged at Mr. Pelosi, struck his head full force, and bludgeoned him with the hammer. The Speaker’s husband suffered traumatic head injuries.
The next thing Mr. Pelosi recalled was “waking up in a pool of blood,” he testified. Following the attack, he spent between a week and 10 days in a hospital, he recalled.
“They told me, don’t watch the news,” he testified.
Mr. Pelosi said he has still not watched the police body camera videos, nor listened to his 911 call. He avoids talking about the attack, Mr. Pelosi said. “It’s been traumatic for my family,” he testified.
Paul Pelosi finished his testimony and left the courthouse.
Beyond several nervous eye tics, DePape showed no emotion during his alleged victim’s testimony.
Unicorn costumes, DePape’s internet searches revealed
Earlier in Monday’s proceedings, an FBI agent testified that DePape searched terms like “Nancy Pelosi Family,” “Pelosi pig blood,” and “Nancy Pelosi’s home,” in the days leading up to the attack. He also bought several items on Amazon, including two unicorn costumes.
DePape lived alone in a garage attached to a house on Shasta Street in Richmond. FBI Special Agent Stephanie Minor searched the garage on Oct. 29, one day after the hammer attack, and seized his electronic items as evidence.
A prosecutor showed photographs of DePape’s home where he had a TV, computer, and a small sleeping mat.
Agent Minor testified that she reviewed data from DePape’s hard drives, on which he had several bookmarks saved, including one titled “Nancy Pelosi San Francisco California.” DePape’s internet searches on Oct. 19 were all related to Nancy Pelosi, where she lived, her age, and her family.
DePape’s Firefox web history revealed he visited spokio.com/NancyPelosi. He Google searched “Nancy Pelosi Family,” searched “Nancy Pelosi” on Wikipedia, and visited the Speaker’s official government biography page.
Another Google search, “Pelosi pig blood,” related to an incident in January of 2021 when Pelosi’s home was vandalized with pig blood and graffiti by a YouTuber.
The FBI agent testified that she found images saved on DePape’s hard drive. In a folder labeled “Pelosi,” he had multiple photos of Nancy Pelosi and her San Francisco home.
The prosecutor held up items DePape ordered on Amazon between July-September 2022. The Amazon purchases included:
- Body cameras
- Two rainbow unicorn costumes
- Android tablet
- Camping and hiking backpack
- Sleeping bag
- USB memory sticks
David DePape had a list of targets, FBI agent testifies
On cross examination, a defense attorney asked Agent Minor about a list of targets that DePape allegedly plotted to attack.
The defense attorney asked, “You knew Mr. DePape had a list of targets? You wanted to investigate to see if anyone else was in danger, correct?”
Agent Minor testified that an FBI forensic team seized and searched DePape’s electronic devices to find out who his targets beyond Nancy Pelosi were, as well as determine his motive for breaking into the Pelosi home.
Agent Minor testified that the list of targets included: actor Tom Hanks, California Governor Gavin Newsom, Hunter Biden, and former US Vice President Mike Pence. DePape used the Internet to research all of his targets and compile photographs of each one, according to testimony.
Federal Trial Resumes Tuesday
The trial will resume with more witnesses called to the stand at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. After the jury left the courtroom, DePape’s defense team and prosecutors quarreled over whether Nancy Pelosi’s schedule should be admitted as evidence in court. One defense attorney proclaimed that her side was wining, and prosecutors were “losing” so far in the trial.
If convicted of the federal charges, DePape will face life in prison. In San Francisco County court, state prosecutors charged him with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, residential burglary and other felonies.