Alleged CHP slasher pleads not guilty

The man who allegedly stabbed a California Highway Patrol officer on a highway on-ramp in South of Market pleaded not guilty Tuesday morning to all of the charges against him, including attempted murder.

Noel Corpuz, 44, is accused of stabbing CHP officer Andre Sirenko in the neck during a confrontation last week. Corpuz pleaded not guilty to assault on a police officer, resisting arrest with force and other charges.

Corpuz was walked into a Hall of Justice courtroom around 9:30 a.m. in shackles and an orange jumpsuit by Public Defender Jeff Adachi, his appointed lawyer. A group of CHP officers looked on from the back corner, including Capt. Christopher Sherry, who is the CHP’s regional commander.

Corpuz is being held on $5 million bail, but a bail hearing was called for Feb. 24 where Adachi plans to argue that it be lowered.

“There’s a list of questions about who did what when,” Adachi told reporters after the arraignment. Adachi said he is reviewing witness interviews to determine what happened during the confrontation.

Sirenko was rushed to San Francisco General Hospital last Tuesday in an ambulance escorted by San Francisco police. His injuries — he was slashed across the neck and arm — were first considered life threatening but he was in stable condition after surgery.

“This event just really shocked us… to see one of our fellow officers severely injured and almost killed,” Sherry said outside the courtroom. “They call this the Hall of Justice and we’re here to see justice served.”

Sirenko is now in “good condition” and wants to come back to work, Sherry said. But “We don’t know the long term effects of the injuries,” he said.

Corpuz, a Hawaii native, spoke to the judge with a thick accent on Tuesday. A Tagalog translator is set to be present at all future hearings.

According to Adachi, Corpuz has committed minor drug offenses in the past but has no history of violence.


Read more criminal justice news on the Crime Ink page in print. Follow us on Twitter: @sfcrimeink
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