Police testify about attack on U.S. House Speaker Pelosi's husband

The 44th Annual Kennedy Center Honors medallion ceremony at the Library of Congress in Washington
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-CA and her husband Paul Pelosi arrive for the formal Artist's Dinner honoring the recipients of the 44th Annual Kennedy Center Honors at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., U.S., December 4, 2021. REUTERS/Ken Cedeno

Dec 14 (Reuters) - A San Francisco police officer testified on Wednesday that he witnessed the attack on U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband when the suspect in the assault hit Paul Pelosi with a hammer in late October.

Prosecutors at the preliminary hearing for suspect David Wayne DePape, 42, played a recording of Paul Pelosi's 911 call during the hearing and showed video of the attack from police body cameras, USA Today reported.

"My partner said, 'Drop the weapon' .... He started to pull the hammer, Mr. Pelosi let go and the man lunged and hit Mr. Pelosi in the head," San Francisco Police Officer Kyle Cagney testified on Wednesday, adding the House speaker's husband was struck "very hard," according to the USA Today report.

Prosecutors say the suspect, demanding to see the House speaker, had broken into her San Francisco home and attacked her 82-year-old husband in an assault that stoked fears about political violence in the United States in the run-up to the midterm elections.

San Francisco Police Sergeant Carla Hurley, who interviewed DePape on the day of the attack, testified to the hearing on Wednesday that the assailant had told her he wanted to target other people too, including California Governor Gavin Newsom, actor Tom Hanks and President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, CBS News reported.

"There is evil in Washington," DePape told Hurley, according to her reported testimony. DePape is due back in state court on Dec. 28, CBS News said.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Stephen Murphy conducted the hearing on Wednesday to establish if there was enough evidence to bring the suspect to trial.

After the attack, Paul Pelosi underwent surgery for a skull fracture and injuries to his right arm and hands. He was released from hospital in early November. DePape, a Canadian, was arrested at the scene and faces charges of attempted murder and other felonies.

DePape threatened to take the House speaker hostage, prosecutors said. He has pleaded not guilty to federal criminal charges last month.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington Editing by Alistair Bell and Sandra Maler

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