A man has been accused with trying to abduct senior US lawmaker Nancy Pelosi and beating her husband.
The 42-year-old is suspected of breaking into the couple’s San Francisco home early on Friday and attacking Paul Pelosi, 82, with a hammer.
He had been seeking for the top Democrat and allegedly screamed “where is Nancy?” while entering the residence.
But Mrs Pelosi, who is second in line to the president, was on the opposite side of the nation at the time.
The motivation is under investigation, but authorities assert that it was not random.
The Department of Justice accused the defendant, who has been identified as David DePape, with two breaches of federal law on Monday. These charges included one count of attacking a family member of a United States official in reprisal for their duty, which carries a potential penalty of 30 years.
He is further charged with the attempted abduction of Mrs Pelosi, which has a potential punishment of 20 years.
Monday, the district attorney of San Francisco also filed six counts, including attempted murder and elder abuse, and noted that further charges may be forthcoming.
Brooke Jenkins said that the assault appeared to be “politically motivated” and that the suspect would face “parallel prosecutions.”
The suspect was detained with a roll of tape, white rope, a second hammer, and zip ties, according to the justice department. He had intended to take Mrs Pelosi hostage and was going to shatter “her kneecaps” if she “lied” to him, according to court filings.
He further told police that if Mrs Pelosi was wounded, then she would have had to use a wheelchair to attend Congress, which would send a message to other lawmakers.
The 82-year-old was in Washington DC but rushed back to visit her husband in hospital, where he had successful surgery for a skull fracture and damage to his hands and right arm. The venture investor, who has been married to Mrs Pelosi since 1963.
Mrs. Pelosi issued a statement on Monday evening stating, “Paul is making solid progress in his lengthy recuperation process.”
As well as Mrs Pelosi – who as speaker of the House of Representatives is one of the most senior officials in the nation – the suspect had a list of other persons he intended to target and may have been preparing more assaults, law enforcement sources told the BBC’s US partner CBS News.
He is being detained in a San Francisco jail and is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.
Friday at 02:23 local time (09:23 GMT), officers were sent to the couple’s house. Images of the Pacific Heights home with four bedrooms revealed damaged back glass doors, via which police claim the burglar gained access.
Mr. Pelosi subsequently informed police that he was sleeping when the unknown intruder entered his bedroom. He informed the invader he wanted to visit the restroom before dialing 911 on his cell phone.
Later, police saw Mr. Pelosi and the suspect grappling over a hammer, but the intruder seized it from Mr. Pelosi and brutally attacked him with it. Officers then subdued and disarmed the man as Mr. Pelosi seemed comatose on the ground.