A San Francisco Sheriff's deputy was arrested in connection with beating a man in a waiting room at SF General and then falsifying reports to cover it up. As ABC 7 reports, 33-year-old Deputy Mike Lewelling turned himself in Friday evening and is now out on a $138,000 bail bond after the DA's office came up with enough compelling evidence to charge Lewelling with four felonies and a misdemeanor.
Lewelling has been charged with perjury, filing a false police report, filing a false instrument and assault under the color of authority, as well as misdemeanor battery after surveillance video emerged showing him beating a man who walked with a cane in a hospital waiting room on November 3. As the Chronicle reports, Lewelling filed a report saying he had been hit by the man with the cane, however the video showed otherwise.
The victim had been sleeping in a chair in the emergency room’s waiting area about 5 a.m., waiting for a doctor’s appointment, when prosecutors said the video showed Lewelling approaching the victim and engaging him in conversation as he woke up.
When the victim tried to walk away with the help of his cane, the video showed Lewelling grabbing the back of his collar, shoving him back into the seat and knocking his cane away, the district attorney’s office said.
The video then showed Lewelling grabbing the man’s throat and choking him before placing him under arrest, prosecutors said.
Lewelling has been on the force for five years, and on hospital-patrol duty since last December.
Given that, how could he have not known that his actions would have been caught on camera?
The Sheriff's Department, which has also been under fire in the last year following the tragic death of Lynne Spalding at the same hospital a case in which she went missing in the hospital and ultimately died, and which was just settled out of court last week issued a statement saying, "The San Francisco Sheriff’s Department places paramount value in maintaining the public trust bestowed upon peace officers. To that end, the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department is committed to holding its employees accountable for their conduct."