Hours after a San Francisco court released body-camera video of a man attacking Paul Pelosi with a hammer, QAnon extremist David DePape, the suspect in the attack, made a surprise call from jail to a Bay Area news station expressing regret that he didn’t go further.
“I’m so sorry I didn’t get more of them,” he said in the call, which was recorded and released by KTVU. “It’s my own fault. No one else is to blame. I should have come better prepared.”
The Friday call was made to Amber Lee, a KTVU reporter who originally reached out to DePape last year after his arrest. She said the conversation, which lasted more than five minutes, sounded scripted.
Lee said she wasn’t able to challenge his statements or ask follow-up questions, as DePape didn’t want to jeopardize his case. He has pleaded not guilty and has an upcoming court date Feb. 23 with charges of attempted murder, residential burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, false imprisonment of an elder and threats to a public official and their family.
DePape is accused of breaking into the Pacific Heights home of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) on Oct. 28 to attack her in an act of political violence shortly before the midterm elections. He called Pelosi the Democrats’ “leader of the pack” in a rambling interview with the police.
But she wasn’t there. He attacked her husband, Paul, instead, authorities said. Paul spent six days in the hospital and underwent surgery to repair a skull fracture with additional injuries to his arms and right hand.
DePape’s call to KTVU suggested that the act was politically motivated.
“Freedom and liberty isn’t dying. It’s being killed systematically and deliberately,” he told Lee. “The people killing it have names and addresses. So I got their names and addresses so I could pay them a little visit.”
He also referenced a website that he’s attempting to set up “out of the reach of tyrannical global fascists” filled with “stuff they don’t want you to hear.”
The call is the latest evidence of DePape’s dark journey from a quiet carpenter who backed President Obama to a radical QAnon extremist who obsesses over conspiracies. His friends told The Times that they believed he had a history of mental illness, drug abuse and childhood trauma.