'NCIS' Actress Pauley Perrette Reportedly Terrified After Alleged Attacker Released From Psych Ward

NCIS star Pauley Perrette says she's frightened for her life after a homeless man who allegedly attacked her in 2015 was freed from a state psychiatric institution.

"It changed my life forever,” Perrette, 48, told Los Angeles’ Fox 11 in a statement this week. "I don't walk outside my house. I think it’s entirely possible that the next word I hear about this guy is that he'll kill a female."

According to Page Six, the actress said the district attorney notified her of David Merck's release from Patton State Hospital.

Merck allegedly attacked Perrette in November 2015, repeatedly punching her and telling her he was going to kill her. The actress said the incident left her "shaken and traumatized."

Merck was charged with false imprisonment by violence, felony assault and making a criminal threat against the actress. He pleaded not guilty, but was deemed incompetent to stand trial. A judge ruled in October 2016 that Merck be committed to a psychiatric hospital.

Police told Fox 11 that until and unless Merck commits another crime, they cannot legally take any action against him, and locals interviewed by the station were divided on whether he seemed like a threat at this point.

Perrette previously said of the experience, “There were a lot of feelings and a lot of emotions, but I feel like at the end of it all, as strange as it sounds, if that incident had to happen in the universe, I feel like it had to be me. I feel like it was supposed to be me somehow because I have a lot of experience working with the homeless, working with the mentally ill. This instance, de-escalation that had to happen right then.”

The actress, who rose to fame playing the role of Abby Sciuto on NCIS since 2003, made headlines at the end of 2017 when it was announced she would departing the show after 15 years.

With producers being aware of the stars' departure from the beginning, George Schenck and Frank Cardea teased the character will receive a "special send-off."

"We've known for some time this would be Pauley's final season on NCIS and have been working toward a special send-off," Schenck and Cardea said on Wednesday. "From day one, she has brought incredible passion and specificity to the role. Abby is a character that inspires millions of fans around the world, and all of us at NCIS are appreciative of Pauley for portraying her."

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Abby has gone through a makeover in her final season, and with the season finale expected in the spring, fans continue to be unprepared to say goodbye to a favorite character.

NCIS airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.