False Rumor Claims Paul Pelosi Brought Attacker Home from Gay Bar

Claim:

Paul Pelosi introduced the person who attacked him with a hammer in October 2022 residence from a homosexual bar.

Rating:

On the morning of Oct. 28, 2022, a person broke into the San Francisco residence of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Only her 82-year-old husband, Paul, was residence. Police mentioned that the intruder severely beat Paul Pelosi with a hammer. The incident quickly spawned a false conspiracy idea claiming that Pelosi had introduced the person who attacked him residence from a homosexual bar. That identical rumor was then amplified by Elon Musk in a tweet (since deleted), simply days after he had reportedly taken management of Twitter as its new proprietor.

It Was a Break-In

First, let’s set up some details. Based on police statements, The Associated Press reported that the assailant broke into the Pelosi residence:

An intruder wielding a hammer smashed his means via a rear door into the Pelosi residence in San Francisco shortly earlier than 2:30 a.m. Friday. The man confronted Paul Pelosi and shouted, “Where is Nancy,” based on an individual accustomed to the scenario who was granted anonymity to debate it.

Paul Pelosi referred to as 911 himself and when police arrived they discovered him combating the assailant. The man managed to strike Pelosi a minimum of as soon as with the hammer earlier than he was tackled by officers and arrested, police mentioned.

Nancy Pelosi was in Washington on the time of the assault.

The New York Times reported that Paul Pelosi underwent surgical procedure on the day of the assault “after sustaining a fractured skull and serious injuries to his hands and right arm, according to a spokesman for Ms. Pelosi.”

In a information convention hours after the assault, San Francisco Police Chief William Scott mentioned of the crime, “Based on our investigation at this point, this was not a random act. This was intentional. And it’s wrong. Our elected officials are here to to the business of their cities, their counties, their states, and this nation. Their families don’t sign up for this, to be harmed, and it is wrong. And everybody should be disgusted about what happened this morning.”

The assailant, a 42-year-old man named David DePape, was arrested on suspicion of tried homicide, elder abuse, and housebreaking.

The False ‘Male Prostitute’ Rumor

On the day after the assault, the Santa Monica Observer web site printed an article that claimed in its headline, “The Awful Truth: Paul Pelosi Was Drunk Again, And In a Dispute With a Male Prostitute Early Friday Morning.” The story claimed, with out proof, that Pelosi had met DePape at a homosexual bar and introduced him to his home.

The “drunk again” a part of the headline referred to Pelosi’s May 2022 arrest for driving below the affect. He later pleaded responsible and was sentenced to 5 days in jail and three years of probation.

The article, which purported to explain “what really happened” within the writer’s “humble opinion,” claimed, once more with out proof, that DePape was a “male prostitute.”

The story additionally mentioned that DePape was a “former Castro nudist protester,” a declare backed up by reporting from The Associated Press, which described DePape as “a two-decade resident of the San Francisco Bay Area” who “was known locally as a pro-nudity activist who had picketed naked at protests against laws requiring people to be clothed in public.”

On the day after the Observer printed its “humble opinion” piece, an replace was added to the start of the article that learn, “Update 10/30: In response to this story, San Francisco Police said today that victim Pelosi and suspect DePape, did not know each other prior to the attack. SFPD reaffirmed that the assault followed a break-in.”

Musk Deletes Tweet Amplifying Rumor

Two days after the assault, and the identical day the Observer added the one-sentence replace to its story revealing that it was contradicted by police experiences, Musk, who has over 100 million followers on Twitter, tweeted a hyperlink to that very article.

The AP famous that the identical publication had “previously asserted that Hillary Clinton died on Sept. 11 and was replaced with a body double,” which was false. It was maybe a coincidence that Musk’s tweet that promoted the Observer’s article was in a response to a different tweet from Hillary Clinton:

Musk [replied] to a tweet by Hillary Clinton. Her tweet had criticized Republicans for usually spreading “hate and deranged conspiracy theories” and mentioned, “It is shocking, but not surprising, that violence is the result.”

In response to Clinton’s tweet, Musk offered a hyperlink to the Santa Monica Observer article and added, “There is a tiny possibility there might be more to this story than meets the eye.”

The Los Angeles Times, the dominant information group within the Southern California space the place the Observer is situated, has mentioned the Observer is “notorious for fake news.”

Musk later deleted his tweet.

‘Break Her Kneecaps’

Three days following the assault, The AP printed new particulars about DePape. According to findings reported by federal authorities, the assailant advised authorities that he had damaged into the residence looking for to interrupt Nancy Pelosi’s kneecaps:

The man accused of attacking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer advised police he needed to carry the Democratic chief hostage and “break her kneecaps” to point out different members of Congress there have been “consequences for their actions,” authorities mentioned Monday.

In a chilling federal grievance, officers say that David DePape, 42, carrying zip ties and tape in a backpack, broke into the couple’s San Francisco residence early Friday morning, went upstairs the place 82-year-old Paul Pelosi was sleeping, and demanded to speak to “Nancy.”

When a shocked Paul Pelosi advised the intruder she was not there, DePape mentioned he would wait — even after being advised she wouldn’t be residence for some days. The assailant then began taking out twist ties, to tie him up, the grievance says.

The federal submitting stands in distinction to the mocking jokes and conspiracy theories concerning the Pelosi assault circulating by far-right figures and even some main Republicans only a week earlier than the hard-fought midterm elections. The San Francisco district legal professional and police chief each mentioned the assault was intentional.

As of this writing on Oct. 31, Paul Pelosi remained hospitalized in San Francisco.

Sources:

Greene, Stan. “The Awful Truth: Paul Pelosi Was Drunk Again, And In a Dispute With a Male Prostitute Early Friday Morning.” Santa Monica Observer, 29 Oct. 2022, https://www.smobserved.com/story/2022/10/29/news/the-awful-truth-paul-pelosi-was-drunk-again-and-in-a-dispute-with-a-male-prostitute-early-friday-morning/7191.html.

Mascaro, Lisa, and Stefanie Dazio. “Police: Pelosi Suspect Wanted to Break Speaker’s Knees.” The Associated Press, 31 Oct. 2022, https://apnews.com/article/twitter-inc-san-francisco-conspiracy-theories-nancy-pelosi-congress-e2d8fc90553c24b5e5162e02e6378321.

Ortutay, Barbara, et al. “AP Sources: Musk in Control of Twitter, Ousts Top Executives.” The Associated Press, 26 Oct. 2022, https://apnews.com/article/elon-musk-twitter-inc-technology-business-san-francisco-ee1e283ff873813524ff21b0a7751b47.

“Report: Police Sources Says Paul Pelosi Attack Suspect Had Zip Ties, Duct Tape.” CBS News, 30 Oct. 2022, https://www.cbsnews.com/sanfrancisco/news/report-police-sources-paul-pelosi-attack-suspect-david-depape-had-zip-ties-duct-tape/.

Rugaber, Christopher. “Musk Tweets Link to an Unfounded Conspiracy Theory.” The Associated Press, 30 Oct. 2022, https://apnews.com/article/elon-musk-twitter-inc-technology-san-francisco-d1db5688e11f0b7a82fb4a815f8149f6.

SFPD Chief Scott with Additional Details on Paul Pelosi’s Attack. KTVU FOX 2 San Francisco, 2022, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmKNrSdCKk4.

Thrush, Glenn, et al. “Intruder Wanted to Break Speaker Pelosi’s Kneecaps, Federal Complaint Says.” The New York Times, 31 Oct. 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/31/us/pelosi-home-attack-suspect-charged.html.

“What Is Known about the Attack on Speaker Pelosi’s Husband.” The Associated Press, 29 Oct. 2022, https://apnews.com/article/arrests-california-san-francisco-1582f7f07e277d65ce445c39de9a8bca.

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