Transient who attacked actress won’t stand trial

LOS ANGELES — A transient has been found incompetent to stand trial on charges of attacking “NCIS” actress Pauley Perrette near her Hollywood home last year.

David Merck, 45, was ordered to be sent to Patton State Hospital, and a progress report hearing was scheduled for Aug. 5, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Merck was charged last year with one felony count each of false imprisonment by violence and making a criminal threat.

At a hearing last December, Perrette identified Meck as the man who attacked her on a sidewalk.

Perrette — who plays forensic scientist Abby Sciuto on the CBS series — testified that her assailant grabbed her by the arm and told her repeatedly that he was going to kill her.

“He was so much stronger than me,” she said. “I couldn’t run. I couldn’t fight.”

The actress said the man “kept repeating my name is William and I am going to kill you,” then hit her on the nose.

“I was praying my heart out,” she said, noting that she knew there was an empty garage behind her and that she was worried she would wind up dead if he got her inside the garage.

Perrette testified that she eventually spoke to the man, telling him that “William’s a very beautiful name.” She said she told him that she had a nephew named William and that he paused and then told her to get out of there.

The actress said police arrived quickly and she eventually was taken by police to identify Merck as her alleged assailant. She said he was sitting on an electrical box outside a 7-Eleven store and she was inside a police car when she identified him as the man who had attacked her.

Shortly after the attack, Perrette described the ordeal in a Twitter posting.

“Tonight was awful, life-changing and I’m only grateful to be alive. I almost died tonight,” she wrote. “I was walking across my street to a new guest house I bought to meet my architect. On my street, I was jumped by a very psychotic, homeless man.”

The actress said she “was alone, terrified, trapped” and that she collapsed on the sidewalk and drew a sketch of her assailant after getting away from him. She wrote that a male friend took a photo of the sketch she had drawn, tracked down her alleged assailant and followed him until police arrived.

“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.”

In a subsequent tweet Nov. 28, she wrote, “How am I doing? Thank you, so much. I’m O.K. Not great. Flashbacks, Nightmares. Trauma is a strange thing. Almost being killed, tough…”


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