BART's 'Naked Man' Pleads Not Guilty - NBC Bay Area

BART's 'Naked Man' Pleads Not Guilty

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is monitoring suspect because he's not a U.S. citizen and is considering whether to deport him



    BART's 'Naked Man' Pleads Not Guilty
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    A man accused of stripping naked and harassing people while doing  acrobatic moves at a BART station in San Francisco last month pleaded not  guilty on Tuesday to seven felony and misdemeanor charges.

    Yeiner Perez Garizabalo, 24, faces two felony counts of false  imprisonment, four misdemeanor counts of battery on public transportation and  one misdemeanor count of sexual battery for the May 10 incident at the 16th  Street Mission BART station.

    Garizabalo allegedly ran naked through the station, grabbing  several passengers and kicking a BART employee while also doing a backflip  and other acrobatic moves. The incident was captured in a video posted on  YouTube that has gone viral via social media.

     He was arrested after visiting with immigration authorities in the  city on Monday, District Attorney George Gascon said.

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    The Colombia native did not speak during his arraignment in San  Francisco Superior Court this afternoon while his attorney, Deputy Public  Defender Paul Myslin, entered the not guilty pleas on his behalf.

    Myslin asked for the felony counts to be downgraded to  misdemeanors, saying that Garizabalo has no criminal record and his actions  "appear to be of a psychiatric nature."

    However, Judge Brendan Conroy denied the request and ordered  Garizabalo to remain in custody in lieu of $100,000 bail. He is also being  held on a detainer by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and could face  deportation.

    Garizabalo was a member of the Berkeley-based circus troupe  ClownSnotBombs and some of his former colleagues came to today's hearing to  show support for him.

    Ben Goldstein, 64, who performs music for the troupe, said he has  talked on the phone to Garizabalo since the May 10 incident.

     "He didn't realize at first what happened. His memory of what  happened was that he was in a play," Goldstein said. "He didn't realize how  serious and horrible this was until he saw the videos of himself."

    Goldstein said Garizabalo's behavior had gotten erratic recently  and that he was at the Stage Werx Theater on Valencia Street hours before the  incident in the BART station, but developed a blank stare and then walked out  of the theater without talking to anybody.

     Goldstein said he thinks Garizabalo may have suffered "some kind  of stroke or some type of medical condition" that caused him to act so  strangely.

    Fable Kievman, 31, a clown in the troupe, said Garizabalo acted  out violently days before the May 10 incident, although no one was hurt.

    He "is a person who needs help," Kievman said. "He needs to get a  psychiatric evaluation."

     The district attorney said Garizabalo was placed on a psychiatric  hold following the incident but was released shortly afterward.

    Gascon said BART police never filed an arrest report for the  incident, so prosecutors were never notified about it until after the YouTube  video began going viral. BART police were not immediately available to comment on the case.

     Gascon said he was thankful that Garizabalo was in custody because  he "could be very dangerous to himself and to others."

    The acrobat will return to court on July 18 for a pre-hearing  conference.

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