A former San Francisco sheriff’s deputy has been convicted of assaulting a homeless man on Tuesday, after surveillance video showed the deputy was the first to attack.
Michael Lewelling was arrested last December for suspicion of perjury, filing a false police report, filing a false instrument and assault, and one misdemeanor count of battery after he grabbed and choked a homeless man while trying to escort him out of San Francisco General Hospital waiting room, prosecutors said.
Lewelling was called to the scene a month prior to his arrest, after a nurse reported the man was being verbally abusive.
Lewelling said he was defending himself after the man started to attack him with his cane. However, surveillance video showed that Lewelling was the first to attack.
The arrest was a result of a six-week investigation by the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department of Criminal Investigations.
Lewelling could face up to three years in prison.
In a statement, the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department said it stands by the court’s decision, saying it “respects the court and jury trial process.”
Bay City News contributed to this report.