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Man charged in Punahou assault pleads not guilty

A homeless man charged with kidnapping and trying to sexually assault a woman along Punahou Street earlier this month pleaded not guilty.

Ferdinand Bermejo, 33, is being held at Oahu Community Correctional Center on $100,000 bail pending trial, scheduled for the week of Feb. 27 before Circuit Judge Edward Kubo.

Police said that at about 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 7, a man followed a woman up Punahou Street from South Beretania Street to Dole Street and grabbed the woman. Three men living in a nearby apartment on Punahou Street heard screams, pulled the attacker off the woman and held the man until officers arrived, police said.

Bermejo, who has a hearing impairment and was helped by sign-language specialists at Tuesday’s hearing, is charged with kidnapping and third-degree attempted sexual assault.

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