The 82-year-old reportedly sustained blunt force injuries to his head and body from an assailant who yelled, “Where’s Nancy?”
Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), was hospitalized after being “violently assaulted” by an intruder who broke into the couple’s residence in San Francisco early Friday morning, the Speaker’s spokesman said in a statement.
“Mr. Pelosi was taken to the hospital, where he is receiving excellent medical care and is expected to make a full recovery,” the statement said. “The Speaker was not in San Francisco at the time.”
The assailant, who has not yet been named publicly, was taken into custody and the motivation for the attack is “under investigation,” the statement said, adding that Pelosi and her family were “grateful to the first responders and medical professionals involved.”
While the full details of the attack are yet to be released, law enforcement sources told CNN that the 82-year-old was attacked by a male assailant with a hammer. Two sources who spoke to the Associated Press said Mr. Pelosi sustained blunt force injuries to his head and body, leaving him with bruising and severe swelling. The attack “specifically targeted” the Pelosi home, the sources told the AP.
Once inside, the suspect shouted, “Where is Nancy, where is Nancy?” CNN reported, citing a source who was briefed on the situation.
San Francisco Police spokesperson Sgt. Adam Lobsinger tweeted that officers responded to a “home break-in” at 2:27 a.m. Friday. “SFPD Chief Scott will address the media at police HQ,” Lobsinger added.
The United States Capitol Police said in a statement that the Speaker was in D.C. with her protective detail at the time. It’s not clear what security detail was at the Pelosis’ residence, if any.
“Special Agents with the USCP’s California Field Office quickly arrived on scene, while a team of investigators from the Department’s Threat Assessment Section was simultaneously dispatched from the East Coast to assist the FBI and the San Francisco Police with a joint investigation,” Capitol Police said in a statement, adding that the assailant’s motive was still under investigation.
Larry Kamer, Mr. Pelosi’s spokesperson, told The Daily Beast on Friday morning that he did not have any information to provide.
Assaults are up 11 percent this year in San Francisco, and robberies are up 5 percent, although burglary has actually fallen significantly in 2022, according to statistics on the city police department’s website.
Threats against members of Congress, specifically, have skyrocketed recently, with the number of investigations launched by Capitol Police rising from 3,939 in 2017 to 9,625 in 2021, according to stats provided to The Hill last month.
Members have been granted additional funding for home security, but more is needed as threats continue to escalate, according to the AP.
According to a report released last week by Princeton University’s Bridging Divides Initiative, threats and harassment against public officials have reached “an inflection point.” Focused primarily on local officials, the report found “increasing general support for the use of threats and harassment… with respondents justifying such attacks on ideological grounds.”
Of 400 cases between 2020 and 2022, about 40 percent were related to election issues, 30 percent were related to education issues, and 29 percent to health issues—overwhelmingly COVID-19, the report found, noting that female officials were targeted 3.4 times more than men.
Friday’s attack is likely to intensify national scrutiny of crime in San Francisco, where residents voted to recall progressive district attorney Chesa Boudin this summer after a spate of assaults, robberies and break-ins, and crisis-level homelessness.
“Thank God [Nancy Pelosi’s] husband Paul is safe after being attacked in their home by an assailant,” Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) tweeted Friday. “While the motive is still unknown we know where this kind of violence is sanctioned and modeled.”