Suspect accused of politically motivated attack on Paul Pelosi was 'completely caught up in the fantasy, in the MAGA fantasy,' his boss says

  • The suspect who attacked Paul Pelosi was consumed by conspiracy theories, The NYT reported.

  • Frank Ciccarelli, a carpenter, worked with the suspect, David DePape, for about six years.

  • "If you got him talking about politics, it was all over," Ciccarelli said.

The suspect who attacked Paul Pelosi was consumed by conspiracy theories, his current boss told The New York Times.

Frank Ciccarelli, a carpenter in Berkeley, California, told the Times he worked with the suspect, David DePape, for about six years. Ciccarelli said DePape began to spend more time online over the last few years, engulfed in right-wing conspiracy theories, as per the news outlet.

"If you got him talking about politics, it was all over," Ciccarelli said. "Because he really believed in the whole MAGA, 'Pizzagate,' stolen election — you know, all of it, all the way down the line. If you go to Fox News, if you go on the internet and you look at QAnon, you know, he had all these theories."

'He really believed in the whole MAGA, 'Pizzagate,' stolen election — you know, all of it, all the way down the line. If you go to Fox News, if you go on the internet and you look at QAnon, you know, he had all these theories.Frank Ciccarelli

Adam Lipson, a public defender assigned to represent DePape declined Insider's request for comment.

At a press conference on Monday, San Francisco's District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said DePape broke into the Pelosi home Friday evening and assaulted Paul Pelosi — the husband of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — with a hammer in a "politically motivated" attack.

The Speaker was in Washington, DC, at the time of the attack.

When Ciccarelli met DePape, he said the suspect was struggling to find work and was hanging outside a lumber store in Berkeley, California, The Times reported. Ciccarelli said that once DePape found housing, "he had much more time to spend on his computer."

Ciccarelli said this time spent roaming the dark web led him to become increasingly isolated in the last few years and wanting to work less in the carpentry business, as per The Times.

"He was completely caught up in the fantasy, in the MAGA fantasy," the carpenter told The Times.

The Justice Department charged the 42-year-old with two felonies. An FBI affidavit accompanying the complaint said that during an interview with San Francisco Police Department officials after his arrest, DePape said he wanted to break the House speaker's knees when he entered her residence.

On Tuesday, DePape pleaded not guilty to charges including attempted murder and kidnapping.

Several reports revealed DePape had previously pushed 2020 election lies and supported conspiracy theories such as believing that COVID-19 was a plan created by the global elite.

Representatives for Pelosi and Ciccarelli did not respond to Insider's request for comment.

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