Paul Pelosi attack: David Depapp says he wanted to hurt others


A man who said he was the suspect in last year’s hammer attack on Paul Pelosi expressed regret in a jailhouse phone call to a California television station — not that he nearly killed his victim, but that he didn’t hurt more people.

David Depapp, 42, has been jailed on state and federal charges related to the Oct. 28 attack on Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s husband at their San Francisco home. Authorities called it a political attack fueled by far-right conspiracy theories.

On Friday, Bay Area Fox affiliate KTVU received a call from the San Francisco jail, according to reporter Amber Lee. She said it was DePape.

“What I did was really bad,” the man says in the audio. “I’m so sorry I didn’t get more of them. … I should have come better prepared.”

What we know about the attack on Paul Pelosi and suspect David Depapp

DePape talked about his alleged enemies nonstop as if he were reading a script, Lee said during an interview with her station.

At the start of the nearly six-minute conversation, Lee said she was told she could record it, but that she was not allowed to challenge DePape’s statements or ask further questions because he did not want the conversation to affect his legal case.

The phone call came hours after authorities released evidence, including police surveillance footage from the night of the attack at the Pelosis home in the upscale Pacific Heights neighborhood. DePape told Lee he had seen the video.

Footage shows 82-year-old Paul Pelosi and Depapp struggling for control of the blow. Depapp wrestled the gun from Paul Pelosi and hit him in the head before officers tackled him to the ground.

Pelosi suffered a fractured skull and serious injuries to her right arm and hands. He spent six days in hospital and was expected to make a full recovery.

The attack on Pelosi, which came days before the midterm elections that will see Democrats lose control of the House of Representatives, is considered an act of political violence. The gunman said he intended to kidnap Nancy Pelosi (D), who was Speaker of the House at the time but has since stepped down as party leader.

Video of Paul Pelosi attack shows burglary, hammer attack

In a public statement Friday, DePape’s public defender, Adam Lipson, said the release the body camera footage is disrespectful to Paul Pelosi and could spark baseless theories about the case, jeopardizing DePape’s ability to get a fair trial.

Lipson did not immediately respond to The Washington Post’s request for comment Sunday morning.

Lee tried to contact Depapp after his arrest, but the phone call Friday was unexpected, she said on KTVU. Lee and KTVU did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment Sunday morning.

Video released Jan. 27 shows David DePaipe breaking into then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home before attacking her husband Paul in October 2022. (Video: The Washington Post)

De Pape told Lee that freedom and liberty in the United States were being “systematically and deliberately killed” and that he had discovered the “names and addresses” of those he believed responsible. He wanted us to “have a hearty talk about their bad behavior.”

A blog filled with baseless claims and smears against Jews, blacks, the media and transgender people was written under DePape’s name and registered to his previous address last August, The Post confirmed. The blog also includes pro-Trump and anti-Democrat posts.

After Depapp was arrested, he told authorities his intent was to “detain and injure Speaker Pelosi,” according to a federal court document. He told investigators she was the “leader of the pack” of lies told by the Democratic Party. He had brought zip ties, a roll of tape, rope, a log and a hammer to the Pelosi residence. Pelosi was not home when Depapp entered.

DePapp, a Canadian citizen who was in the United States illegally, faces possible deportation once his criminal cases are resolved. His relatives told Canadian media that Depapp grew up in British Columbia and it is unclear how he ended up in Northern California.

He has been indicted in state and federal courts on charges that include attempted kidnapping of a federal employee and assault on a family member of a federal employee. If convicted, he could face life in prison.

Reis Thebault, Danielle Paquette, Justine McDaniel and Maria Sacchetti contributed to this report.

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