NEW: Clown troupe says Yeiner Garizabalo told them he thought he was in a play
Acrobat says he is not guilty on all seven charges
The incident occurred May 10 at a subway station in San Francisco
Video surfaced showing a naked man doing acrobatics, going after commuters
The 24-year-old man accused of attacking commuters while naked at a San Francisco subway station proclaimed he is not guilty Tuesday.
According to the San Francisco District Attorney’s office, Yeiner Garizabalo waived his arraignment and entered not guilty pleas.
He is due back in court on July 18 for a pre-hearing conference. The native of Colombia remains in jail on a $100,000 bond and a request from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.
Garizabalo faces seven charges following the May 10 incident at a Bay Area Rapid Transit station.
He appeared in a bizarre video where he, sans clothing, performed acrobatics off subway equipment, then went after commuters trying to catch a train. A video of the incident quickly went viral.
In it, a glistening man with a wild mane of hair turns fare gates into balance beams, doing splits and back flips buck-naked. Startled commuters flee as he dashes across the station, attacking people at random.
Last week, police said he had been arrested, given a mental evaluation, charged with battery and released.
He now stands accused of two felony counts of false imprisonment, four misdemeanor counts of battery and one misdemeanor count of sexual battery in the incident, said Alex Bastian, a spokesman for the District Attorney’s office.
California defines false imprisonment as “the unlawful violation of the personal liberty of another.”
Garizabalo, who is also known as Yeiner Perez, was, until recently, a member of the ClownSnotBombs Circus. The group posted a statement on its Facebook page Monday saying he was no longer affiliated with it.
“To our knowledge, Mr. Perez never exhibited this type of behavior previously and this episode came as a complete surprise to us,” it said.
On Tuesday, the group added another statement that said it had worked with Garizabalo to have him admitted to a hospital for a psychiatric and medical examination. That was supposed to happen Tuesday, but he was arrested on Monday.
The post, signed by six members of the troupe, said Garizabalo described to them being in a play at the train station on May 10.
“Now that he has seen the video and understands the gravity of what really happened, he feels both guilty and horrible for what he has done,” it said. “He is extremely depressed, under a lot of stress and very afraid.”
CNN affiliate KTVU reported Garizabalo faces deportation because of an expired visa.