SHAFAQNA – A sheriff’s deputy was arrested Friday on suspicion of assaulting a man at San Francisco General Hospital and then lying in a police report to say the man attacked him, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said.
San Francisco County Deputy Michael R. Lewelling, 33, was charged with four felonies, including perjury and filing a false police report, and misdemeanor battery in the Nov. 3 incident, Gascon said.
Lewelling, who was assigned to patrol the hospital, allegedly confronted the man — who was sleeping in the emergency room while awaiting a doctor’s appointment — choked him and placed him under arrest on felony and misdemeanor charges, prosecutors said. In his police report, Lewelling said the man attempted to assault him with a wooden cane.
Prosecutors declined to charge the man until video evidence was presented, Gascon said. The video, which prosecutors reviewed Friday, shows the man did not raise his cane at the officer, and was walking away when the officer grabbed him, Gascon said.
The victim has been released from jail. Using the video as evidence, prosecutors got an arrest warrant for Lewelling on Friday. He was subsequently arrested, and was out of custody on $138,000 on Friday evening.
“The fact that a Sheriff’s Deputy allegedly battered a patient at San Francisco General Hospital is unnerving,” Gascon said in a statement. “What’s worse is that he’s also alleged to have perjured himself on a police report, unforgivable conduct that led to the arrest of the innocent victim.”
Lewelling, who was hired in 2009, has been suspended without pay, Senior Deputy Enrique Luquin said.
Source : mercurynews.com/