SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF / AP) – After he was arrested by three San Francisco police officers early last year and hospitalized with a broken cheekbone and other injuries, prosecutors dropped the charge against a man accused of have assaulted an officer this week.
Sergio Lugo was wrongly accused of assaulting a San Francisco police officer who, along with two other officers, illegally detained him in February 2021 after beating him, the State Department said Wednesday.
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The San Francisco Police Department did not immediately respond to an email from the Associated Press on Wednesday for comment.
Lugo’s lawyer said she had lodged a complaint with the Department of Police Accountability on his behalf.
Two officers who had been monitoring a neighborhood for burglars detained and interrogated Lugo, but when they told him they wanted to visit him, Lugo told them he intended to walk away, the public defense office said.
“Without any verbal warning, the two officers grabbed his arm, kicked his leg out from under him and squeezed him to the ground,” the office said.
A third officer who joined later admitted to hitting Lugo between 15 and 25 times, the public defender’s office said.
Following Lugo’s arrest, San Francisco police issued a statement saying two officers had been injured as they tried to detain Lugo, who became combative and produced a razor blade.
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The department said Lugo had attacked the officers, stabbed one officer in his left hand and left knee, and that the other officer had been injured in his hand during the fight.
Lugo was arrested in San Francisco County Jail on charges of assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, possession of methamphetamine and possession of burglary tools.
The public defense office said that when police first encountered Lugo, he was holding a silver object in his hand that police thought was a vape pen.
“All parties agree that when police arrested Mr. Lugo, the cap fell off, revealing that it was an X-acto Knife – a small pen-shaped tool with a sharp edge often used in craftsmanship. The sharp edge caused “Superficial cuts on one officer’s pink and knees, but the officers’ blows to Mr. Lugo’s head sent him to the hospital with bruises, tears and a broken cheekbone,” the office said.
Lugo was later charged with assaulting an officer, displaying a deadly weapon to resist arrest and three counts of resisting arrest by force. He spent over four months in jail.
This week, as the case was getting ready to go to trial, the defense claimed that Lugo had not committed any crime and the prosecutor agreed on Tuesday to dismiss the case, the public defender’s office said.
“We carefully reviewed all the evidence in this case, including statements, surveillance, the fact that police officers did not wear body-worn cameras, inconsistencies in the police officer’s statements, the fact that Mr Lugo was behaving lawfully when he was stopped by police, and photos. of all parties’ injuries – which depicted serious injuries to Mr. Lugo, which the police beat hard during this meeting – and it was clear that this was not a proven case, “said Rachel Marshall, spokeswoman for the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.
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