More neighbors of accused Paul Pelosi assailant David DePape described him as quiet and unassuming.
“He’d be out here [in the garden] feeding the birds. Malcolm [Lubliner] is really kind and let him live in the garage and got him work helping the neighbors with jobs–I think he helped one guy out with his deck,” she recalled. “What he did came as a real shock.”
DePape was reportedly living inside a garage in Richmond, California, before he allegedly broke into the home shared by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her husband, Paul, late last week. He faces a slew of charges in connection to the incident in which he allegedly hit Paul Pelosi with a hammer and fractured his skull.
Another neighbor who asked not to be named told the Mail, in an article published Wednesday, that the 42-year-old DePape kept to himself and appeared to be harmless. He did not make reference to his political views and did not say anything unusual.
“There was nothing that stood out about him and he never said anything that seemed odd,” the neighbor recalled. “We’re all pretty left (politically) on this street and he never said anything right-wing. I was so surprised when this happened—I guess I should have Googled him before.”
DePape was ordered held without bail during an arraignment on Tuesday in the San Francisco Superior Court. He’s accused of breaking into Pelosi’s home at 2 a.m. before making his way to Paul Pelosi’s bedroom and demanding to speak to his wife, according to court documents.
According to the documents, DePape told investigators that he was on a “suicide mission” because of the “lies” that are coming out of Washington, D.C. Officials then said he wanted to break the House speaker’s kneecaps.
The documents stated that DePape told investigators that “by breaking Nancy’s kneecaps, she would then have to be wheeled into Congress, which would show other Members of Congress there were consequences to actions.” He also allegedly stated: “I didn’t really want to hurt him, but you know this was a suicide mission. I’m not going to stand here and do nothing even if it cost me my life.”
After DePape confronted Paul Pelosi in his bedroom, Pelosi tried to make it to an elevator in the home to reach a phone, but DePape blocked his way, Jenkins said. In a nightshirt, Pelosi then told the assailant he had to use the restroom, allowing him to get to his cell phone and call 911, according to authorities.
Police were dispatched to the home in the upscale Pacific Heights neighborhood around 2:20 a.m. Friday. They arrived two minutes later to see the two men struggling over a hammer, and then DePape struck Pelosi at least once before being tackled by officers, San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said.
She said police body camera footage “shows the attack itself.” Police later found a second hammer, along with rope, tape, and a diary in DePape’s backpack.
During the court hearing, public defender Adam Lipson told reporters that his team will perform a “comprehensive investigation of what happened,” and they’re going to be looking into Mr. DePape’s mental state, and I´m not going to talk any further about that until I have more information.”
Investigators believe DePape had been researching in advance to target Pelosi, Jenkins said in an interview with The Associated Press. “This was not something that he did at the spur of the moment,” she said.
Ex-‘Life Partner’ Speaks
Oxane “Gypsy” Taub, a nudist activist who’s currently incarcerated in the California Institution for Women after being convicted on kidnapping charges in 2021, told local an ABC affiliate station that DePape had mental health problems.
“Hello, this is Gypsy Taub. I am the ex-life partner of David DePape and the mother of his children,” Taub told the local media outlet over the weekend.
“He is mentally ill. He has been mentally ill for a long time.” Taub, who noted that the pair had two sons before they split seven years ago, said that DePape at one point disappeared for about a year. When he resurfaced, Taub said, he believed he was Jesus Christ.
Independent journalist Michael Shellenberger wrote around the same time that he went to the alleged former home of DePape in Berkeley, a city located near San Francisco that has long been a hotbed of progressive activism.
Neighbors told him that “people come and go from the house and the vehicles, neighbors say, in part to partake in the use of a potent psychedelic drug, ibogaine,” Shellenberger wrote.
“What I know about the family is that they’re very radical activists,” a neighbor told him. “They seem very left. They are all about the Black Lives Matter movement. Gay pride. But they’re very detached from reality. They have called the cops on several of the neighbors, including us, claiming that we are plotting against them. It’s really weird to see that they are willing to be so aggressive toward somebody else who is also a lefty.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.