San Francisco Sheriff's Deputy Charged with Assault and Perjury

December 19, 2014

Twitter: @GeorgeGascon




Alex Bastian (415) 553-1931


Maxwell Szabo, (415) 553-9089


Stephanie Ong Stillman (415) 553-1167



SAN FRANCISCO, CA – District Attorney George Gascón announced today that Michael R. Lewelling, age 33, was charged with four felonies and a misdemeanor for crimes allegedly committed while on duty on November 3, 2014, as a San Francisco Sheriff’s Deputy at San Francisco General Hospital.


“The fact that a Sheriff’s Deputy allegedly battered a patient at San Francisco General Hospital is unnerving,” said District Attorney George Gascón.  “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.”


According to court records, Deputy Lewelling filed a police report alleging that the victim attempted to assault the deputy with a wooden cane.  The victim, a patient at SFGH, was subsequently placed under arrest for felony and misdemeanor charges. The case against the victim was presented by the Sheriff’s Department to the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office on November 4th. That same day the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office declined to charge the case and submitted a request for video evidence of the incident. The victim was released from custody as a result.  Video evidence of the incident was presented to the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office today.  


On November 3, 2014 at approximately 5am, Deputy Lewelling was assigned to the San Francisco Sheriff Department’s Patrol Unit (SPU) at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH).  Court documents detailing the video evidence depict 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.


Upon reviewing the video evidence this morning an arrest warrant was immediately prepared and the defendant was charged with four felonies; perjury, filing a false police report, filing a false instrument and assault under the color of authority. The defendant was also charged with one misdemeanor count of battery. His bail is set at $138,000. A court date has not yet been set.