A graphic video showing the attack on the husband of then-U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Paul, in October was released Friday by a San Francisco court.
DePape is accused of breaking into the lawmaker's San Francisco home in the early hours of Oct. 28, 2022 and attacking Paul Pelosi with a hammer, fracturing the 82-year-old's skull and causing other serious injuries. DePape has pleaded not guilty.
The video confirms the narrative investigators provided after the attack.
It shows police arriving at the Pelosi home in Pacific Heights to find Pelosi and the suspect, David DePape, standing calmly each with a hand on a large hammer. After police demanded they drop the weapon, DePape wrested control of the hammer, swung it above his head and hit Pelosi, according to police and the video.
Police tackled DePape as Pelosi lay motionless on the ground.
A coalition of at least a dozen news organizations, including The Times, asked the court to order the San Francisco district attorney's office to release copies of the records already submitted into evidence, arguing that the news media and public had a right to review them.
DePape's lawyers opposed making that evidence public, saying it could jeopardize his right to a fair trial and stir up more misinformation about the case. The attack on Pelosi spawned a flurry of unfounded conspiracy theories online, including on popular social media platforms.
San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Stephen Murphy disagreed with those objections, dismissing them as speculation. He said that while the right to a fair trial is "certainly a legitimate concern in any case," the court couldn't withhold the release of records out of fear that they could be manipulated.
Other evidence released by the court Friday includes a recording of Pelosi's 911 call, video footage from a Capitol Police security camera outside the Pelosi home, and a recording of DePape's interview with the San Francisco Police. The videos and 911 call released Friday mark the first pieces of evidence that dispute the misinformation that's circulated about the attack.
The Capitol Police video shows a man walking up to a glass door at the Pelosi home. He looks through the glass, walks away, and then returns wearing a large backpack and carrying a bag. He sets the bags down and removes several items, including a hammer.
He then walks up to the house and repeatedly swings the hammer. The camera angle does not show what surface the hammer hits, but after several swings of the hammer and a flurry that looks like a burst of broken glass, the footage shows the man entering the house.
The 911 call from Pelosi started not with a cry for help, but with him calmly telling a dispatcher that there was a "gentleman here just waiting for my wife to come back, Nancy Pelosi."
"He's just waiting for her to come back," he said, his voice measured and patient. The dispatcher asked Pelosi if he needed police, fire or medical help, to which he replied, "I don't think so."
"Is the Capitol police around?" he asked. "They're usually here at the house, protecting my wife."
Throughout the nearly three-minute call, it's clear that Pelosi is trying to convey that something is terribly wrong, but without losing his composure.
"He thinks everything is good," he said, speaking about DePape. "I've got a problem, but he thinks everything is good."
Pelosi told the dispatcher he didn't know the man. When the dispatcher asks for the man's name, DePape responds that his name is David. The dispatcher then asks who David is.
"I don't know," Pelosi said. DePape chimes in that he's "a friend of theirs."
"He says he's a friend," Pelosi responded, saying again that he doesn't know who he is, and that he's being instructed to hang up. "I gotta stop talking to you, ok?"
The dispatcher said she could stay on the phone with Pelosi to "make sure everything is ok." But Pelosi said he was being instructed to hang up the phone, and the call ends.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.