A police chief has said the attack on US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband was “not a random act”, after the assault stoked fears about political violence ahead of the crucial November midterm elections.
Paul Pelosi, 82, was attacked and severely beaten with a hammer by an intruder who broke into the couple’s San Francisco home early on Friday, searching for the Democratic leader and shouting “where is Nancy, where is Nancy?”.
He suffered a fractured skull and injuries to his right arm and hands but is expected to fully recover.
“This was not a random act. This was intentional. And it’s wrong,” San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said.
“Our elected officials are here to do the business of their cities and their counties and their states. Their families don’t sign up for this. Everybody should be disgusted about what happened this morning,” Mr Scott added.
San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said she expected to file multiple felony charges, including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and elder abuse against suspect David Depape.
It has now been reported that DePape appears to have made racist and often rambling posts online, including some that questioned the results of the 2020 election, defended former President Donald Trump and echoed QAnon conspiracy theories.
DePape, who grew up in Powell River, British Columbia, became known in Berkeley as a pro-nudity activist who had picketed naked at protests against local laws requiring people to be clothed in public.
A motive for Friday’s intrusion has not been officially determined, but three people with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press that he targeted Pelosi’s home.
Police confirmed that the intruder gained entry through the back door of the home, which is in the wealthy Pacific Heights neighbourhood.

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