A homeless man has denied attacking "NCIS" actress Pauley Perrette outside her Hollywood Hills home last week, prosecutors said.
David Merck, 45, was charged with felony criminal threats and imprisonment by violence for allegedly attacking Perrette on Thursday evening in the 6000 block of Cahuenga Terrace. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday and faces up to four years in prison if convicted.
In a tweet, the 46-year-old actress best known for playing forensic scientist Abby Sciuto on CBS described the violent encounter.
"I was very hesitant about tweeting this. Tonight was an awful night. 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," she wrote. "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."
Perrette then said the man yelled repeatedly that his name was William, told her not to forget it and threatened to kill her. She wrote that she told him he had a beautiful name and that it's her nephew's name too.
She said the man punched her again, then let her go and told her to "get out of here." She collapsed on the sidewalk nearby, where a passerby ignored her, she said. She wrote that she then called her friend, who came and picked her up.
"I immediately drew a police sketch of the guy who was headed towards Hollywood Blvd with murder in his eyes. My pal James took a pic of my sketch, found the guy, surveilled him, the cops came and followed James to him," Perrette wrote. "They got him."
Since the attack, Perrette has received an outpouring of support. Even the passerby who ignored her has since visited her home to apologize, she said on Twitter.
She said his ignoring her was a misunderstanding and that he is a "good, good man."
But as for Merck, he has a lengthy criminal history, said LAPD Sgt. Bob Ward. Merck was arrested shortly after the attack nearby at Cahuenga Boulevard and Yucca Street. He is being held on $60,000 bail.
Perrette, a well-known advocate for civil rights and the homeless, finished her initial tweet about the attack on a personal note.
"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. 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."
For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna.