SPD detective reveals harrowing details of the night Rep. Jayapal’s life was threatened

Aug 2, 2022, 2:53 PM

Brett Forsell — the man accused of threatening to kill U.S. House Representative Pramila Jayapal — has pleaded not guilty to felony stalking charges filed by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

A King County judge has granted the prosecutor’s request for GPS, alcohol, and electronic home monitoring were he to post bail, currently set for $150,000, down from a previous $500,000.

Sarah Mulloy, a detective with the Seattle Police Department assigned to the investigation, has found probable cause that Forsell committed felony harassment against Jayapal.

While Forsell was arrested on July 9, his relationship with Jayapal goes back several months.

Forsell emailed Jayapal the day before the anniversary of the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, “expressing [his] dislike towards her,” as the detective writes in her certification for probable cause.

On April 10, 2022, and July 1, 2022, house sitters for Jayapal, while the representative was away from home, reported that a vehicle abruptly drove towards the house, “yelling something about the democratic party,” before speeding away.

While no video evidence of the incidents was recorded, a witness statement claims that the vehicle was the same black car with gold rims seen the night of July 9.

Extreme Risk Protection Order filed against man accused of threatening to kill Rep. Jayapal

That night, Jayapal’s husband, Steve Williamson, went to the door of their residence to investigate the sound of a man shouting “[expletive] you Pramila], “Go back to India,” and “Tell her to go kill herself so she won’t come back,” according to Mulloy.

When Williamson arrived at the door, the man seemed surprised and sped away in a vehicle with another man.

Later that night, Williamson observed a vehicle revving its engine outside the home, driving back and forth. A man strutted back and forth outside the home, and Williamson heard the sound of metal on metal, possibly that of the chamber of a gun being loaded — Forsell had a loaded handgun in his waistband at the time of his arrest.

The man said, “I’m your new [expletive] neighbor, [expletive].” A neighbor reports hearing Forsell say, “Go back to India. I’m going to kill you.”

The neighbor also observed one of the men threatening Jayapal to erect a tent outside the representative’s property.

Jayapal and Williamson reportedly hid further inside the home, calling emergency services.

Seattle Police arrived on the scene, arresting Forsell for harassment.

While in custody, Forsell admitted to driving past Jayapal’s residence three to seven times. The man reports getting into a fight with his mother at her residence where he lives, who ordered him to leave. Forsell grabbed a tent and sleeping bag and proceeded to Jayapal’s residence, where he attempted to sleep, yelling repeatedly about being homeless.

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SPD detective reveals harrowing details of the night Rep. Jayapal’s life was threatened