After his arrest on Monday, notoriously limber BART station acrobat Yeiner Perez Garizabalo, 24, appeared in court Tuesday afternoon to be arraigned on two felony counts of false imprisonment, four misdemeanor counts of battery on public transportation and one misdemeanor count of sexual battery. Through his public defender, Perez pled not guilty on all charges. According to fellow members of his clown troupe, the skilled acrobat thought he was acting in a play during his naked rampage at the 16th Street BART station.

"He didn't realize at first what happened," said Ben Goldstein a musician with Berkeley-based troupe ClownSnotBombs, who spoke to Perez after the incident on May 10. "His memory of what happened was that he was in a play. He didn't realize how serious and horrible this was until he saw the videos of himself." Although the troupe initially fired him, several fellow clowns showed up in court to support Perez yesterday.

According to his colleagues, who believe he may have suffered "some kind of stroke or medical condition," Perez started acting violently a few days before the May 10th incident. One clown in the troupe says he had to intervene during a violent incident the day before on May 9th and was assaulted in the process.

A few hours before he stripped naked and was filmed terrorizing the 16th Street BART station, Perez was working with his troupe at Stage Werx Theatre a few blocks away on Valencia Street. At some point, Perez took on a blank stare and simply walked out of the theater without speaking.

Deputy Public Defender Paul Myslin asked the judge to lower the felony charges to misdemeanors because Perez has no criminal record and his actions "appear to be psychiatric in nature." The request was denied and Perez is still being held on $100,000 bail. He is also still facing possible deportation by the U.S. Immigrations & Customs Enforcement.

District Attorney Gascón's office says Perez was initially placed on psychiatric hold following his arrest, but was released shortly after because BART police failed to file an arrest report. The DA's office only learned about the incident after the now-infamous video broke wide on the Internet.

According to Goldstein, Perez has been "very depressed and crying and withdrawn" since his arrest and friends hope to see him get treatment rather than jail time. Perez will appear in court again on July 18th. KTVU has the video report from outside the courtroom at the Hall of Justice.

Previously: All Yeiner Perez/Naked BART Man coverage on SFist