Pauley Perrette, best known for her long-running NCIS role, was the victim of a brutal attack, perpetrated by one of Los Angeles’ many homeless persons. Although the homeless man had Perrette fearing for her life, Pauley says the incident hasn’t soured her against working with the homeless, a charity close to her heart.
NCIS Star Pauley Perrette Attacked By A Mentally Ill Homeless Man
Ms. Perrette confessed that she spent all night crying, following a brutal attack by a homeless man, who punched her over and over as he threatened her life.
“He told me he was going to kill me several times and I absolutely believed him,” Ms. Perrette told Entertainment Tonight. “I prayed as hard as I’ve ever prayed for anything ever in my life, and I didn’t do anything. I thought, anything I do would escalate the situation — I couldn’t overcome him, he was stronger than me.”
Pauley was eventually able to get away from her assailant, and although Perrette didn’t have a phone with her, she did have a pen and paper, which she used to sketch an image of her attacker. Perrette says that the drawing turned out to be very accurate, which aided police in apprehending 45-year-old David Merck.
Although the NCIS actress was afraid for her life during the attack and is grateful to be alive, Ms. Perrette was still able to express compassion for homeless David Merck. Pauley acknowledged that the attack wasn’t personal and that, as a homeless person, Merck lacked the support for his mental illness that he might otherwise have received.
Following the attack, Pauley tweeted the experience, which gives a detailed account of the incident, including the threats made to her by the homeless man.
So, tonight was awful, life changing and I’m only grateful to be alive. It’s here: pic.twitter.com/vXIT1pkVRc
— Pauley Perrette (@PauleyP) November 13, 2015
Merck is being charged with felony battery and is being held on $100,000 bail.
Pauley Perrette Is Still Dedicated To Helping The Homeless
NCIS‘ Perrette, who is also a criminology student and dedicated to helping the homeless, has not wavered in her compassion for those less fortunate than herself. Pauley confessed that her heart still breaks at the thought of so many living on the streets, while citing the mentally ill homeless as those especially deserving of her empathy.
Ms. Perrette also said that, having now been a victim of a crime herself, she better understands what victims go through emotionally, as well as what their experiences in the criminal justice system can mean.
“I’m a criminal science major,” Ms. Perrette said. “I’m on a crime show, I’m a crime person, but what it actually feels like to be an innocent victim, a pedestrian walking down the street, and be snatched?…I know what it feels like now and I was terrified.”
Pauley says her dedication to the homeless is more important than ever and that the key to resolving homelessness is to bring awareness and education to the public. While most homeless people are not violent, even Perrette admits that there is a small segment of the homeless population that represents a danger to society. Ms. Perette says the attack was an isolated incident.
“I am shaken and traumatized. My house, my beloved Hollywood. My beloved homeless people that I spend my life protecting. My life changed tonight. My… I don’t know. We need full mental health care,” Ms. Perrette said, according to the L.A. Times. “We need housing and help for the homeless. We need to support our cops. We need to not walk alone. I need to heal. I almost died tonight.”
The next episode of NCIS, in which Pauley Perrette plays Abby Sciuto, airs Tuesday, November 24, on CBS.
[Featured image courtesy of Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Los Angeles LGBT Center]