Man accused of threatening to kill Rep. Pramila Jayapal charged with felony

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The Seattle man who was arrested earlier this month for allegedly threatening to kill Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., has been charged with felony stalking after investigators obtained new evidence.

Brett Forsell, 49, was arrested on July 9 but released after prosecutors said they did not have enough evidence to support a hate crime charge, but the investigation remained ongoing. In charging Forsell, prosecutors indicated that he was armed with a deadly weapon, and alleged that he stalked Jayapal due to her position 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, U.S. Capitol Police, and the House Sergeant at Arms for continuing to keep my family, me, and my staff safe,” Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said in a statement. “Now, the Prosecutor’s Office and the courts will do their important work to protect all of us.”

Police arrested Forsell outside Jayapal’s home after she called 911 to report that a person she didn’t know was outside using obscene language. Jayapal told the dispatcher that her husband thought someone might have fired a pellet gun. 

MAN FACING HATE CRIME CHARGES FOR ALLEGEDLY THREATENING TO KILL REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL OUTSIDE HER HOME

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 17: Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., speaks during a House Judiciary Committee markup of the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021 and other legislation in Rayburn Building on Tuesday, November 17, 2021. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

UNITED STATES – NOVEMBER 17: Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., speaks during a House Judiciary Committee markup of the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021 and other legislation in Rayburn Building on Tuesday, November 17, 2021. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images) (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

A neighbor told police that Forsell yelled, “Go back to India, I’m going to kill you,” and had driven past Jayapal’s home three times shouting obscenities.

Police said that when they responded to the scene, they allegedly found Forsell in the street with his hands in the air and a handgun at his waist. According to a probable cause statement, he told police that he had directed profanities at the congresswoman after having driven past the house yelling obscenities multiple times since late June.

Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., speaks with reporters outside the U.S. Capitol Building on Nov. 18, 2021 in Washington. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., speaks with reporters outside the U.S. Capitol Building on Nov. 18, 2021 in Washington. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images) (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

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Police said they later learned that Forsell emailed Jayapal’s public account in January, stating that he did not like her.

Jayapal addressed the situation in an appearance on MSNBC’s “The Sunday Show” on July 17. 

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 09: Rep. Pramila Jayapal  (D-WA) questions Intelligence Committee Minority Counsel Stephen Castor and Intelligence Committee Majority Counsel Daniel Goldman during House impeachment inquiry hearings before the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill December 9, 2019 in Washington, DC.(Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 09: Rep. Pramila Jayapal  (D-WA) questions Intelligence Committee Minority Counsel Stephen Castor and Intelligence Committee Majority Counsel Daniel Goldman during House impeachment inquiry hearings before the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill December 9, 2019 in Washington, DC.(Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images) (Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

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“I am not okay, and I’m okay,” she said at the time.

“This man wanted to intimidate me, he wanted to threaten me, he wanted to harm me,” she added.

Fox News’ Andrew Mark Miller and The Associated Press contributed to this report.