- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 5, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A San Francisco sheriff’s deputy was convicted of assaulting a homeless man who fell asleep in hospital waiting room before an appointment with a doctor.

A jury found Michael Lewelling, 34, guilty of felony assault by a peace officer and a related misdemeanor charge, the San Francisco District Attorney’s office announced Tuesday. Lewelling was acquitted of perjury and charged related to filing a false police report.

Lewelling faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison when he is sentenced in October.

The deputy was charged after he arrested Fernando Guanill, 59, in November at San Francisco General Hospital. A nurse asked the deputy to remove Guanill from the hospital because he was being disruptive, the district attorney’s office said. When Lewelling arrived, he found Guanill asleep in a waiting room.

Lewelling reported that Guanill awoke and attacked him with a cane. Lewelling arrested Guanill.

Prosecutors mulling charges against Guanill reviewed video recorded by a security camera and decided Lewelling’s report didn’t accurately reflect what occurred. Guanill appears to be leaving the waiting room when the deputy pushes him back into a chair and assaults him, prosecutors said.

Defense attorney Harry Stern said he plans to appeal.

Lewelling is on unpaid leave and faces departmental administrative action.


Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, https://www.sfgate.com

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