SAN MATEO -- A patient set a mattress on fire in his room at the San Mateo County Medical Center on Tuesday and attempted to stab a staff member, prompting a standoff that ended peacefully, police said.
Police arrested 51-year-old Zavtcho Stoyanov, of Hillsborough, about 1 a.m. Wednesday after the confrontation, which injured no patients or workers, said San Mateo police Sgt. Dave Norris. The suspect was booked on arson and assault charges.
The trouble began about 10:45 p.m. at the hospital on West 39th Avenue when staff called authorities after a patient set a small fire in his first-floor room. Workers were almost finished evacuating about 30 rooms in the southwest part of the building when police and fire crews arrived. Hospital staff had also put out the flames, Norris said.
But the upset patient, holed up in his hospital room, reportedly had a knife and refused to come out. Police surrounded the room and a negotiator tried to talk to the patient. A SWAT team was ready to intervene, if necessary. Ultimately, Stoyanov was taken into custody safely, but police didn't say if he surrendered.
While investigating the incident, police learned Stoyanov also allegedly tried to stab and a hospital staff member. The fire remains under investigation.
Contact Joshua Melvin at 650-348-4335. Follow him at Twitter.com/melvinreport.