NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A nursing home aide pleaded not guilty Tuesday to criminally negligent homicide and other charges in the death of a patient in the Bronx last month.

Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson said Cherrylee Young, 41, was arraigned Tuesday in the December death of Frank Mercado, 77. He was a patient at the University Nursing Home, suffering from dementia.

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Prosecutors say Young allegedly punched the man during a fracas on Dec. 8. During the skirmish, a table broke and Mercado fell and was impaled on a piece of metal protruding from the table.

According to law enforcement sources, the fight that broke out between the aide and the victim was so intense that witnesses told police they had to pull the two apart, 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reported.

Mercado was taken to Montefiore Medical Center, where he died.

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Besides the homicide charge, Young also faces assault and endangerment charges. Her attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Young had worked at the home for 14 years. A source told 1010 WINS that she did not have a criminal history.

A message left at the nursing home was not immediately returned.

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