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

DA elect joins Breed to denounce attacks against Chinatown seniors

Days after three seniors were brutally attacked on video at a popular… Continue reading

SF takes ‘next step’ to become first in California to launch public bank

City officials plan to cut ties with Wall Street banks

Mayor, supervisors reach consensus on plan to fix SF’s mental health system

Both parties agree to drop ballot measures and pursue reform with legislation.

Hate crimes jump 58 percent in San Francisco, FBI report shows

While numbers fall slightly in California, The City records an increase

Treasure Island residents could get a break on tolls

New proposal would exempt current occupants from congestion pricing for at least six years

Most Read