Officer Elia Lewin-Tankel (Courtesy photo)

Hit-and-run driver gets maximum sentence for severely injuring SFPD officer

Officer Elia Lewin-Tankel suffered permanent brain damage in the collision

The driver who struck a bicycling police officer while fleeing authorities in San Francisco has been sentenced to more than a decade in prison, prosecutors said Thursday.

A judge sentenced Willie Flanigan, 51, to the maximum term of 12 years and eight months in prison Wednesday afternoon for hitting Officer Elia Lewin-Tankel.

Lewin-Tankel suffered permanent brain damage from the impact and is still being treated in a medical care facility, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

“This man’s recklessness took a significant toll on an officer and his family,” District Attorney George Gascon said in a statement. “But the victim’s family and the entire SFPD came together to rally around Officer Lewin-Tankel in support of his recovery.”

Flanigan was in a stolen vehicle on Oct. 18, 2017 when he fled police in the Western Addition and struck Lewin-Tankel on Turk Street near Van Ness Avenue.

Prosecutors said Flanigan got away but was arrested later that day.

In July, a jury convicted him of charges including assault with a deadly weapon, hit-and-run driving and receiving stolen property.

“Officer Elia Lewin-Tankel is an outstanding member of our department,” Police Chief Bill Scott said in a statement. “We hope the sentencing of the defendant will bring some measure of relief for Elia and his family as he continues his recovery.”

Just Posted

Climate strike organizers say SFUSD blocked student participation

The organizers behind Friday’s Climate Strike in San Francisco are accusing the… Continue reading

City puts closure of long-term mental health beds on hold

In response to public outrage over a proposal to suspend 41 permanent… Continue reading

Here we go again – new dog rules in Golden Gate National Recreation Area

The GGNRA released a 2019 Superintendent’s Compendium that makes significant changes that appear to implement parts of the ill-fated Dog Management Plan.

Thousands take to San Francisco streets in Climate Strike

The protesters are calling for urgent action on climate change, including putting pressure on local elected leaders to support more drastic steps.

Good Day Sept. 22-24, 2019

Mark Morris Dance Group, Presidio Theatre Open House, PUSHFest, Community Music Center Sunday, Making Faces-Portraits by John Kascht, WWE Monday Night Raw, Margaret Atwood, George Takei, Durand Jones, Kurt Ribak, Incubus

Most Read