Police officers gave a first-hand account of the brutal assault on Paul Pelosi Wednesday during a preliminary hearing for David DePape, the man accused of pummeling him with a hammer during a bizarre home invasion.
A responding officer demonstrated the attack on the husband of outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in front of a California court Wednesday, hammer in hand.
DePape — uncuffed and clad in orange overalls — looked on, repeatedly pulling at the jailhouse garb in apparent discomfort.
Pelosi’s daughter, Christine, was also present for the hearing, sitting in the front row of the courtroom.
San Francisco police officer Kyle Cagney told the court how he and his partner were dispatched to the Pelosi residence for a wellness check around 2:20 a.m. that morning.
“My partner knocked and rang the doorbell,” Cagney said. “we saw two men standing by the doorway.”
Cagney’s body camera footage was played for the court — it showed Pelosi answering the door almost immediately.
Cagney told the court he saw the two men struggling for control of a hammer.
“They were both grabbing a single hammer. The man on the left, Pelosi, was holding the head of the hammer while [DePape] had the handle.”
Cagney’s partner can be heard on the video telling the men to “drop the hammer.”
“Um, nope,” DePape responds.
Cagney told the court that DePape hung on to the tool while Pelosi let go.
“Once he gained control of the hammer, in one motion he raised it above his head and swung it at Mr. Pelosi,” the cop said.
On the body camera footage, one of the officers can be heard shouting, “Whoa! Oh, s–t!”
Assistant District Attorney Sean Connolly asked the officer how hard the hammer came down on Pelosi’s head.
“Really hard,” Cagney responded.
The cop said he proceeded to tackle DePape, eventually wresting the hammer from him.
Pelosi, meanwhile “was laying face down on the ground, a pool of blood on his head,” Cagney said.
At Connolly’s prompting, Cagney demonstrated the DePape’s alleged blow, retrieving the hammer from an evidence bag with a gloved hand.
Cagney said Pelosi let go of the head of the hammer when ordered to, and stepped back.
That’s when DePape lunged, bringing the hammer down on Pelosi’s head.
“This whole thing happened in a matter of seconds?” Connolly asked.
“Yes,” said Cagney.
Pelosi, 82, was rushed to a nearby hospital following the attack, where he underwent surgery to remove and repair part of his skull. He spent six days in intensive care before his release.
DePape pleaded not guilty to attempted homicide, first-degree burglary, and a slew of other state charges in early November, for allegedly breaking into the Pelosi home looking for the Speaker of the House.
DePape also faces federal charges that could put him away for 50 years.