Luckily for the victim, the hospital security cameras show what really happened.
San Francisco, CA -- A San Francisco sheriff's deputy is facing four felony charges and a misdemeanor after he randomly assaulted a sleeping patient at S.F. General Hospital and then lied about it.
The 33-year old deputy, Michael R. Lewelling, filed an official police report in November of this year claiming that the victim had assaulted him with a wooden cane. The victim was then arrested and charged with a felony and a misdemeanor.
However, surveillance footage of the assault shows that it was Lewelling that approached a sleeping man, and actually assaulted him.
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According to KRON4, District Attorney George Gascón says the surveillance tape:
“depict(s) the victim hunched over in a chair sleeping in the Emergency Room’s waiting area, awaiting a doctor’s appointment later that day. Deputy Lewelling approaches the victim as he is starting to wake up.
He subsequently appears to engage in a conversation with the victim, at which point the victim slowly stands up, using a cane for assistance. Once up, he attempts to take a step towards the exit. While the victim is attempting to walk away, the defendant grabs the back of his collar, pulling him back into the seat and knocking his cane away.
The victim never raised his cane in a threatening manner. A few seconds later, he appears to grab the victim’s throat and begins to choke him. The battery continued, and the victim was then placed under arrest.”
After reviewing the surveillance footage, prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for Lewelling for perjury, filing a false police report, filing a false instrument and assault under the color of authority. He also faces a misdemeanor count of battery.
Lewelling is currently out on a $138,000 bond.
“The fact that a Sheriff’s Deputy allegedly battered a patient at San Francisco General Hospital is unnerving,” Gascón said in a written 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.”