SAN MATEO -- A Hillsborough man charged with setting his hospital room on fire and then attacking a nurse and police officer with a knife was ordered released from jail Monday on his own recognizance, a prosecutor said.
Zavtcho Stanonor Stoyanov, 51, had been held in lieu of $500,000 bail after the March 5 fire at San Mateo Medical Center. But San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Marta Diaz granted him release from jail on his promise to appear at future court dates and other conditions, Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti said.
"We objected due to the extreme and demonstrated danger to the public," she added.
Defense attorney Majeed Samara didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
The trouble started the night of March 5 when hospital workers noticed smoke coming from Stoyanov's room. A nurse tried to open the door, but it was blocked with a chair and a hamper, according to prosecutors. The nurse then kicked open the door and saw the floor and bed were burning.
Prosecutors say Stoyanov, who was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, swung a knife twice at the nurse's torso and missed only because the nurse jumped back. The nurse doused the flames with a fire extinguisher and other workers evacuated patients from the hospital.
After police arrived at the scene a San Mateo officer walked toward the suspect and was also nearly stabbed, prosecutors said. The officer then shot the suspect
The fire and resulting smoke prompted a chaotic scene at the hospital.
"There was smoke billowing from a wing so thick an officer could not make out what was in front of him," wrote District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. "Staff frantically wheeled patients out of the area on beds."
Stoyanov has pleaded not guilty to arson, and one count each of assault with a deadly weapon on the police officer and the nurse, Guidotti said. He's due back in court April 12.
Contact Joshua Melvin at 650-348-4335. Follow him at Twitter.com/melvinreport.