De-Wash, Rep. A Seattle man arrested earlier this month on charges of threatening to kill Pramila Jayapal has been charged with felony charges after investigators obtained new evidence.
Brett Forsell, 49, was arrested on July 9 but prosecutors said they did not have enough evidence to support a hate crime charge, but the investigation continued. In charging Forsell, prosecutors indicated that he was armed with a deadly weapon, and alleged that he stalked Jaipal as an elected official.
“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, the US Capitol Police and the House Sergeant at Arms for keeping my family, me and my staff safe,” from the Congressional Progressive Caucus. President Jaipal said in a statement. “Now, the prosecutor’s office and the courts will do their important work to protect us all.”
Forsell was arrested by police outside Jaipal’s home after she called 911 to report someone she didn’t know was using obscene language. Jaipal told the dispatcher that her husband thought someone might have fired a pellet gun.
A man facing a hate crime charge for allegedly threatening to kill a deputy. Pramila Jayapal outside her house
A neighbor told police that Forsell yelled, “Go back to India, I’m going to kill you,” and drove past Jaipal’s house three times performing obscenities.
Police said when they responded to the scene, they found Forsell in the street with his hands in the air and a handgun in his waistband. According to a probable cause statement, he told police that he sexually assaulted the congresswoman in late June after yelling obscenities from the house several times.
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Police said they later learned that Forsell had emailed Jaipal’s public account in January and said he didn’t like her.
Jayapal addressed the situation on MSNBC’s “The Sunday Show” on July 17.
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“I’m not fine and I’m fine,” she said at the time.
“This man wanted to threaten me, he wanted to threaten me, he wanted to harm me,” she added.
Andrew Mark Miller of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.