Pelosi’s husband recovering after hammer attack surgery

Paul Pelosi, the husband of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is recovering from emergency surgery after being attacked with a hammer by an intruder at the couple’s San Francisco home.

Paul Pelosi, 82, suffered a fractured skull and injuries to his right arm and hands but is expected to fully recover, media reports stated.

The attack has however injected new uneasiness into the nation’s already toxic political climate, just 11 days before the midterm elections, AP reported.

Hours after the attack, the US government distributed a bulletin to law enforcement across the nation warning of a “heightened threat” of domestic violent extremism against candidates and election workers driven by individuals with “ideological grievances”.

Nancy Pelosi, who was in Washington at the time of the California attack, arrived in San Francisco late Friday. Her motorcade was seen arriving at the hospital where her husband was being treated for his injuries.

“This was not a random act. This was intentional. And it’s wrong,” said San Francisco Police Chief William Scott.

US President Joe Biden called Speaker Pelosi with support and later delivered a condemnation of the “despicable” attack that he said had no place in America.

“There’s too much violence, political violence. Too much hatred. Too much vitriol,” Biden said Friday night at a Democratic rally in Pennsylvania.

“What makes us think it’s not going to corrode the political climate? Enough is enough is enough,” he said.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell tweeted he was “horrified and disgusted” by the assault.

The nation’s political rhetoric has become increasingly alarming, with ominous threats to lawmakers at an all-time high, AP reported.

The House speaker and other congressional leaders are provided 24-hour security, and increasingly more other members now receive police protection. This, as crime and public safety have emerged as top issues for voters in the election.

‘Paul Pelosi made secret 911 call’

San Francisco Police Chief Scott said officers had responded to a call at around 02:27 local time on Friday.

They found Pelosi and the suspect struggling over a hammer, but it was wrested from Pelosi by the intruder, who violently assaulted him with it.

The suspect was tackled and disarmed by officers. He had attempted to tie up Pelosi “until Nancy got home”, law enforcement sources told CBS News.

At the start of the break-in, Pelosi told the intruder he needed to use the bathroom then made a secret 911 call on his mobile phone and left the line open, allowing a dispatcher to hear him talking to the suspect, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Police Chief Scott confirmed it was Pelosi who had called police and that a quick-thinking emergency dispatcher had been “able to read between the lines” and send officers.

Forty-two-year-old David DePape was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, elder abuse and burglary, and remained in the hospital late Friday, police said.

Nancy Pelosi is one of the most powerful politicians in the country. She was re-elected to a fourth term as Speaker of the House of Representatives in 2021, making her second in line to the presidency after Vice-President Kamala Harris.