The armed man who allegedly threatened to kill U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D, WA-07) outside her Seattle home has been charged.
Brett Forsell, 49, was previously arrested on suspicion of a hate crime on July 9 after Jayapal reported unknown individuals in a vehicle yelling obscenities outside her home in the Arbor Heights neighborhood.
Jayapal’s neighbor told police she heard the man yell, “Go back to India, I’m going to kill you.”
Seattle police found Forsell armed with a .40-caliber handgun and detained him in the King County Jail. However, Forsell was released when prosecutors did not file the alleged hate crime charges in time due to a lack of evidence.
“I am not OK, and I’m OK,” Jayapal reportedly said during her appearance on MSNBC’s “The Sunday Show” on July 17. “This man wanted to intimidate me, he wanted to threaten me, he wanted to harm me.”
Forsell was charged with felony stalking on Wednesday after investigators had reportedly obtained enough evidence, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors noted that Forsell was armed with a deadly weapon and said that he stalked Jayapal because of her position as an elected official. Police also learned that Forsell had emailed Jayapal’s public account in January to state his dislike toward her.
According to the probable cause statement, the man told police that he had driven past Jayapal’s house and directed profanities at her multiple times since late June.
A judge approved a bail amount of $500,000 for Forsell, according to prosecutors.
“I am grateful to the King County Prosecutor’s Office for holding this man accountable for his dangerous actions, to the victim’s advocate for her assistance throughout the process, and to the Seattle Police Department, U.S. Capitol Police, and the House Sergeant at Arms for continuing to keep my family, me, and my staff safe,” Jayapal said in a statement.