Man accused of attacking woman at S.F. General pleads not guilty 

click to enlarge A man accused of attacking an elderly woman at San Francisco General Hospital last week has pleaded not guilty to the charges. - MIKE KOOZMIN/2013 S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • Mike Koozmin/2013 S.F. Examiner file photo
  • A man accused of attacking an elderly woman at San Francisco General Hospital last week has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The man accused of attacking an elderly woman at San Francisco General Hospital on Friday has pleaded not guilty to felony assault and elder abuse charges, the San Francisco District Attorney's Office said.

Orin Zebest, 29, was an emergency room patient that was on psychiatric hold in the hospital. He was being transferred from the main emergency room to the psychiatric emergency room by staff about 10:05 p.m. when he assaulted the woman, identified by the hospital as Mary Perez.

Perez is still hospitalized and is reportedly in good condition despite the attack, hospital officials said.

Zebest is charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon, felony assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury and felony elder abuse, Assistant District Attorney Alex Bastian said. He is bail was set at $225,000 and his next date in court is March 13.

In a statement the hospital apologized that Perez was injured while in their care and while they say take patient care very seriously, they will be reviewing their procedures.

The hospital is still reeling from an incident last year when 57-year-old Lynn Spalding, who was admitted to the hospital in September, went missing, and was found dead in a hospital stairway almost four weeks later after a massive Bay Area-wide search effort.

Then, in January, another at-risk female patient went missing, but was found almost 24 hours later. She was found alive, and the hospital credited new procedures put in place after the incident in which Spalding went missing.

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