A 48-year-old Seattle man was released from jail after being arrested for threatening U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), The Seattle Times reports. King County prosecutors said the man was released because it could not be determined with certainty if the man told Jayapal to go back to India or threatened to kill her. Prosecutors have 72 hours to file a criminal charge or the suspect must be released. On Wednesday, police obtained an Extreme Risk Protection Order that required the man to surrender his firearms temporarily. They cited his behavior toward Jayapal and his mental health struggles. The man's mother described him as "feverish," and that he hadn't been eating or sleeping leading up to his alleged encounter with Jayapal.
Jayapal, 56, became the first Indian American woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2016. She is a Democrat who represents the Seventh Congressional District, which includes Seattle. Jayapal was born in India and came to the U.S. at 16 to attend Georgetown University. On Saturday at 11:25 p.m. police arrested the man outside of Jayapal’s house. According to a neighbor, the man drove by Jayapal’s house three times before entering her front lawn. The neighbor thought she heard him say “Go back to India. I’m going to kill you,” but that could not be determined from Jayapal's home security footage. When police arrived, the man was found with a 40-caliber handgun holstered to his waist. Jayapal’s husband thought he heard a pellet gun go off. Investigators said this may have been the sound of metal poles, as the man tried to build a tent on the property. The man said that he was carrying a firearm for self-defense and denied threatening Jayapal.