HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (FOX 11 / CNS) - A 45-year-old man was arrested Friday for the alleged assault of television actress Pauley Perrette, one of the stars of the hit series NCIS.
Perrette, 46, who plays forensic scientist Abby Sciuto on the CBS series, tweeted that she was attacked near her Hollywood home around 5 p.m. Thursday. She said the man, later identified as David Merck, punched her and said he would kill her.
`Tonight was awful, life-changing and I'm only grateful to be alive. I almost died tonight," she tweeted, providing an account of the attack.
"I was walking across my street to a new guest house I bought to meet my architect," she wrote. "On my street, I was jumped by a very psychotic, homeless man. He grabbed me so forcefully, pinned my arm, punched me in the nose, forehead repeatedly telling me he was going to kill me.
"Then he showed me how he was going to kill me. He kept repeating his name. `William ... Don't forget that! I'm going to kill you'," she continued. "I was alone, terrified, trapped. There was an empty garage behind me and I knew if he got me in there I was dead. I knew I couldn't overcome him. I prayed my heart out and then finally said, 'William is a beautiful name. I have a little nephew named William.
"That's all I said, all I did, other than praying my heart out. He started to punch me again and then said: 'Get the f---out of here'. And I did," she wrote.
"I went into shock. Collapsed on the sidewalk. Some guy walked right past me with a dog that licked my face. He was on his phone, annoyed. Did nothing. I texted my friend next door and church friend cop. I immediately drew a police sketch of the guy who was headed towards Hollywood Boulevard with murder in his eyes.
"My pal James took a pic(ture) of my sketch, found the guy, surveilled him."
Perrette wrote that officers followed her friend, James, who led them to the suspect.
"I am shaken and traumatized," she wrote. "My life changed tonight. We need full mental health care. We need housing and help for the homeless. We need to support our cops. We need to not walk alone. I need to heal," she
The man who was walking his dog and didn't help Perrette told news media outlets that he didn't recognize Perrette and feels awful about what happened. He said she was disheveled, seemed disoriented and appeared to be homeless.
Police tracked down Merck at a 7-Eleven and he was arrested around 6p.m. Thursday, according to county jail records. He was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.