Pauley Perrette is frightened for her life after a homeless man who allegedly attacked her in 2015 was freed from a state psychiatric institution.
“It changed my life forever,” Perrette, 48, told Los Angeles’ Fox 11 in a statement this week. “I don’t walk outside my house. I think it’s entirely possible that the next word I hear about this guy is that he’ll kill a female.”
The actress said the district attorney notified her of David Merck’s release from Patton State Hospital.
Merck was charged with false imprisonment by violence, felony assault and making a criminal threat against Perrette. He pleaded not guilty, but was deemed incompetent to stand trial. A judge ruled in October 2016 that Merck be committed to the psychiatric hospital, the LA-area Beverly Press reported.
Police told Fox 11 that until and unless Merck commits another crime, they cannot legally take any action against him, and locals interviewed by the station were divided on whether he seemed like a threat at this point.
Perrette previously said of the experience, “There were a lot of feelings and a lot of emotions, but I feel like at the end of it all, as strange as it sounds, if that incident had to happen in the universe, I feel like it had to be me. I feel like it was supposed to be me somehow because I have a lot of experience working with the homeless, working with the mentally ill. This instance, de-escalation that had to happen right then.”
This article originally appeared in Page Six.