(NEW YORK) — Paul Pelosi, the husband of Democratic Rep. and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, took the stand Monday in the trial against the man accused of breaking into the couple’s home last year and striking him in the head with a hammer.
Pelosi, 83, suffered a skull fracture when the suspect, David DePape, attacked him after they struggled over the hammer when police arrived during the Oct. 28, 2022, incident at Pelosi’s California home.
DePape, 43, was arrested and charged with attempted kidnapping of a federal official and assault on the immediate family member of a federal official with intent to retaliate against the official for performance of their duties. He has pleaded not guilty.
Pelosi came and faced his alleged attacker in court and provided clear details about the incident.
He said he was alone in the home while Rep. Pelosi was in Washington when DePape burst through his bedroom door holding a hammer in one hand and some ties in the other, repeatedly asking, “Where’s Nancy?”
“I recognized I was in serious danger, so I tried to stay as calm as possible,” Pelosi testified.
After Pelosi testified that his wife wasn’t in the home, he said DePape responded, “Well, then we’re going to have to wait for her. I’m going to have to tie you up and we’ll wait for her.”
Pelosi said that he tried to leave the room and head to an elevator that led to the ground floor, but was blocked by the defendant and ultimately got to his bathroom, where he called 911. DePape followed him into the bathroom, according to Pelosi.
“He told me he was going to take me out. I had to try to convey to the 911 person I was in trouble,” he testified. “I thought I had a very difficult time trying to let them know.”
DePape took the phone, Pelosi testified. Pelosi said he and the defendant made their way down to the first floor.
“I’m thinking, ‘I hope the police come,’ but what I knew was my only shot was going to be if we were downstairs and the police came, it would be so much easier to arrest him,” Pelosi testified. “God knows what he would have done if we were still on the third floor.”
When they reached the ground floor, Pelosi said he saw the broken entryway and DePape’s backpacks.
A short while later, officers showed up at the front door. DePape and Pelosi fought over the hammer while officers tried to get the defendant to stand down, and Pelosi was struck.
Pelosi said he doesn’t remember a lot of the details after the attack, which was captured on a police body camera, but did remember the “pool of blood.”
“I know that I was put in an ambulance and taken to the hospital. I knew there was some kind of conversation with the medics,” Pelosi said.
He was hospitalized for six days and returned home to recover.
Pelosi said the doctors advised him not to watch any coverage of the investigation.
“I’ve tried putting it out of my mind,” he said. “I made the best effort possible to not relive it.”
When asked about his recovery, Pelosi said he had to learn how to walk and be mobile again. He said he still gets a little lightheaded and has some headaches but not as much as immediately after the attack.
The defense did not have questions for Pelosi.
The judge said he aims to present the case to the jury by Wednesday.
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