Fact check: Paul Pelosi and alleged attacker were both clothed when police arrived




 

The claim: Paul Pelosi and his attacker were in their underwear when police showed up

David DePape, accused of attacking Paul Pelosi on Oct. 28, has been charged with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and burglary, among other counts.

Following the attack, social media users have shared a variety of false claims regarding the incident. One of these claims is that Pelosi and DePape were in their underwear when police arrived at the scene.

"Paul Pelosi & his attacker were half naked when the police showed up," says an Oct. 28 Instagram post. "They were both in their underwear."

The post garnered more than 60,000 likes in the first four days. Similar iterations have been shared on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The claims are false. A news outlet mistakenly reported that DePape was in his underwear at the time of the attack, but has since published a correction. DePape was wearing shorts while Pelosi was wearing a pajama shirt and boxer shorts, police said.

USA TODAY reached out to the social media user who shared the post for comment.

No evidence that Pelosi and DePape were in their underwear

KTVU Fox 2 in the Bay Area initially reported that DePape was in his underwear when apprehended, according to Politico. The news outlet has since corrected the mistake, adding an editor's note to the bottom of its Oct. 28 article.

"CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated what clothing the suspect was wearing when officers found him," reads the note.

The district court's criminal complaint says DePape was wearing shorts at the time of the attack.

"Officers removed a cell phone, cash, clipper cards and an unidentified card from DEPAPE's right shorts pocket," reads the complaint.

Fact check: False claim that security cameras malfunctioned during break-in at Pelosi residence

Pelosi was wearing a pajama shirt and boxers at the time.

"Mr. Pelosi, who was sleeping, was wearing a loose-fitting pajama shirt and boxer shorts," District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said at an Oct. 31 press conference.

DePape has pleaded not guilty and remains in jail.

USA TODAY reached out to the San Francisco Police Department for comment.

This claim has been debunked by PolitiFact, AP News and FactCheck.org.

Our rating: False

Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that Pelosi and his attacker were in their underwear when police showed up. A news outlet mistakenly reported that DePape was in his underwear at the time of the attack but has since corrected itself. DePape was wearing shorts, and Pelosi was wearing a pajama shirt and boxer shorts.

Our fact-check sources:

Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or electronic newspaper replica here.

Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Paul Pelosi and alleged attacker were both clothed

COMMENTS

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