Paul Pelosi, the husband of Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the US House of Representatives, is recovering from surgery after an intruder with a hammer beat him up at home. Mr. Pelosi, who is 82, had his skull broken and his right arm and hands hurt badly.
After breaking into the San Francisco home, the suspect is said to have asked to see Mrs. Pelosi. President Joe Biden said that the attack was “despicable” and that it was done for political reasons.
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At the time of the attack, Mrs. Pelosi was in Washington, DC, on the other side of the country. She flew back to see her husband in the hospital.
A spokesman for the senior Democrat said that Ms. Pelosi had been attacked early Friday morning by “an assailant who acted with force and threatened his life while demanding to see the Speaker.”
Drew Hammill, Mrs. Pelosi’s spokesman, said that he was taken to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital for surgery and that doctors expect him to make a full recovery.
At a news conference, San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said that officers had responded to a call around 2:27 local time (9:27 GMT) on Friday.
They found Mr. Pelosi and the suspect, whose name the police gave as David DePape, fighting over a hammer. The intruder took the hammer from Mr. Pelosi and beat him violently with it. Police said that Mr. Pelosi was hit with a club at least once.
Officers tackled and took the gun away from the suspect. Sources in the police force told CBS News that he tried to tie up Mr. Pelosi “until Nancy got home.” During the event, he reportedly asked, “Where’s Nancy?”
Chief Scott said that he is also being charged with assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, and several other crimes.
He said that the suspect got into the four-bedroom Pelosi home in the upscale neighbourhood of Pacific Heights through a back door. A broken glass door can be seen on the video of the house.
Chief Scott said at a news conference on Friday night that the alleged intruder was in the hospital, but he wouldn’t say more about his health.
At the beginning of the break-in, Mr. Pelosi told the suspect he had to go to the bathroom. He then made a secret 911 call on his cell phone and left the line open, so a dispatcher could hear him talking to the suspect.
Chief Scott said that Mr. Pelosi was the one who called the police and that a quick-thinking emergency dispatcher “was able to read between the lines” and send officers.
The police chief said of the attack, “This was not a random act.” “This was done on purpose.”
He also said, “What happened this morning should make everyone sick.”
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President Biden said at a campaign rally in Philadelphia that political violence has “no place” in the US and that “enough is enough is enough.”
“Everyone with a good heart needs to speak out against the violence in our politics in a clear and direct way,” he said.
Mitch McConnell, who is the leader of the Republicans in the Senate, said he was “horrified and disgusted” by the attack.