LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A homeless man was charged on Monday with two felonies in a violent, seemingly random attack on the streets of Hollywood on “NCIS” actress Pauley Perrette that she later recounted on social media.
David Merck, 45, was expected to make an initial court appearance later on Monday in the case, which made national headlines after Perrette described the brutal encounter on her Twitter account.
Perrette wrote on Twitter that on Thursday night she was walking on a street near her home in Hollywood when a man suddenly grabbed her and struck her on the nose and forehead while threatening to kill her.
“There was an empty garage behind me and I knew if he got me in there I was dead,” Perrette said in the emotional account.
The actress, who plays a forensic investigator on the hit police procedural “NCIS,” recalled that the man kept telling her his name was “William” and warning her not to forget it.
In her terror, Perrette wrote, she replied to her attacker that she had a nephew with that name. The man punched her again, and then let her go, letting her move away from him before collapsing on the sidewalk in shock.
“Some guy walked right past me with a dog that licked my face,” Perrette recounted. “He was on his phone, annoyed. Did nothing.”
Perrette, who has also appeared in such films as “The Ring” and “Almost Famous” and has performed in a rock band, later drew a sketch of the suspect for police, which helped lead to his arrest, she said.
Merck, who was charged with one count each of making a criminal threat and false imprisonment, faces up to four years in state prison if he is convicted at trial.
Prosecutors, who asked that bail be set for Merck at $60,000, said the case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.