There are so many unanswered questions surrounding the May 10 incident in which 24-year-old Yeiner Perez stripped naked and attacked commuters at the 16th and Mission BART Station. Among them: Why was this man subsequently released from police custody and back into the world?
According to BART Deputy Police Chief Ben Fairow, Perez was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor battery; he had a psych evaluation and then he was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement -- which is now in the process of trying to deport Perez back to his native country. ICE officials would not reveal which country he's from.
Meanwhile, BART has issued a warrant for his arrest, and the District Attorney's Office is considering filing charges against Perez now that they have the footage of the May 10 incident that's been circulated widely across the Internet.
"He is not a citizen," Fairow tells us. "He is out of custody now but being monitored with a GPS [ankle] bracelet."
We contacted ICE officials, who would not confirm anything beyond this written statement:
Following his arrest by local authorities, Jeiner Albert Perez Garizabalo was remanded to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody on May 14 and has been placed in deportation proceedings. Pending a decision in his immigration case, Mr. Perez is required report to ICE on a regular basis to ensure he is complying with the terms of his release.
That helps explain how a reader spotted a performer they believe was Perez on the Embarcadero earlier Thursday performing his acrobatics for tourists. We can't be certain it was Perez -- however, it certainly appears to be the acrobat. Perez was fired from his previous job with the East Bay-based troupe ClownsNotBombs. The group issued a statement on Thursday, informing SF Weekly of Perez's "termination."
Fairow says if were up to him, he would have kept Perez in custody, adding that he wouldn't want his wife and child subjected to someone like that. However, BART police hadn't completed the necessary reports in time for a judge to decide whether there was enough probable cause.
What Fairow is doing at this time is drawing on a recently enacted state law allowing BART to ban people who, like Perez, disrupt the commuting service with criminal or nefarious acts.
"What I rely on in these cases is getting a stayaway order so I can arrest them anytime they show up," Fairow said. "We are actively seeking a stayaway order for [Perez] so his name and picture will be in that database."