House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, stock trader Paul Pelosi, was beaten by a man with a hammer and hospitalized on Friday inside their San Francisco mansion. Since the shocking attack, rumors have swirled about the motive of the attacker.
Democratic Party leaders have tried to craft the narrative in the mainstream media that the congresswoman was targeted by a Pro-Trump MAGA terrorist.
Conservatives responded that the attacker was actually a mentally ill progressive activist that was having a psychotic break. Some even went so far as to claim the man was a homosexual prostitute hired by Paul.
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But the truth about the suspect, David DePape, is a story of mental illness.
“He is mentally ill. He has been mentally ill for a long time,” the attackers ex-girlfriend, Oxane “Gypsy” Taub, told a local ABC News station. “He thought he was Jesus. He was constantly paranoid, thinking people were after him. And it took a good year or two to get back to, you know, being halfway normal.”
Taub added that the attacker “was very much in alignment with my views, and I’ve always been very progressive.”
But DePape also posted strange, meandering, and sometimes racist far-right conspiracy theories on social media. One of his daughters, Inti Gonzalez, told The Los Angeles Times that her father was the author of a blog that included Sept. 11 and QAnon conspiracies theories.
A two-decade resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, DePape was known locally as a pro-nudity activist who had picketed naked at protests against laws requiring people to be clothed in public.
He grew up in Powell River, British Columbia, before following an older girlfriend to California. He has three children with two women. Stepfather Gene DePape said the suspect had lived with him in Canada until he was 14 and had been a quiet boy.
What is consistent from those around DePape is that has long been mentally unstable, and that his motivation to attack the Pelosis was the result of a psychotic break from reality.
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“I’m a little shocked,” his daughter reportedly told The Los Angeles Times. “But not really that shocked, in all honesty.”
According to police, DePape smashed his way through a rear door into the Pelosi residence in San Francisco shortly before 2:30 a.m. Friday. The man confronted Paul Pelosi and shouted, “Where is Nancy,” according to multiple reports.
Paul Pelosi reportedly called 911 himself and when police arrived they found him struggling with the assailant. The man managed to strike Pelosi at least once with the hammer before he was tackled by officers and arrested, police said.
“This was not a random act. This was intentional. And it’s wrong,” San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said.
Nancy Pelosi was in Washington at the time of the attack.
DePape was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, elder abuse, and burglary, police said.
Paul Pelosi underwent surgery to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands, and his doctors expect a full recovery, the speaker’s office said Friday. Other than Nancy Pelosi’s letter to colleagues, there were no updates on his condition Saturday.
Nancy Pelosi arrived in San Francisco late Friday. The couple has been married since 1963.
In her letter, the speaker thanked colleagues for their prayers and warm wishes.
“Our children, our grandchildren and I are heartbroken and traumatized by the life-threatening attack on our Pop,” she wrote. “We are grateful for the quick response of law enforcement and emergency services, and for the life-saving medical care he is receiving.”
The Horn editorial team and the Associated Press contributed to this article