Courtesy of the Public Defender's OfficeThis is a picture of Joshua Boling reportedly after his run-in with police July 11 near the Panhandle area of Golden Gate Park. He was treated by paramedics at the scene.

Courtesy of the Public Defender's OfficeThis is a picture of Joshua Boling reportedly after his run-in with police July 11 near the Panhandle area of Golden Gate Park. He was treated by paramedics at the scene.

Homeless man reportedly beaten by police acquitted of charges against him

A jury on Monday found a homeless man not guilty of eight felonies, including two counts of assaulting a police officer, said Public Defender’s Office spokeswoman Tamara Barak Aparton.

Joshua Boling, 22, faced up to 11 years in prison in connection with a July 11 incident in which he was involved in an altercation with several police officers near the Panhandle area of Golden Gate Park, Aparton said.

In that incident, Boling was reportedly sitting in the park with a homeless woman when two bike patrol officers approached to talk to the woman. There was also a broken bicycle nearby.

As the officers asked the woman how she was doing, Boling got up and walked away, Aparton said. One of the officers asked him to stay so they could talk. Instead, Boling ran into traffic on Fell Street.

The officers followed him across Fell Street and one of them demanded he get on the ground, Aparton said. The officers said Boling took up a “fighting stance.”

One of the officers, believing Boling had pulled out a pocket knife, struck Boling in the knee with a baton, Aparton said. Boling then fled through the Department of Motor Vehicles parking lot toward Oak Street.

By this time, Aparton said, six to 10 officers were in pursuit of Boling. They tackled him near Oak and Divisadero streets.

One officer testified that she put Boling in a choke-hold and another officer testified that he punched Boling in the face six times and kicked him in the shoulder, Aparton said.

During the course of the trial, none of the officers who testified could give a legal reason why Boling was stopped or pursued.

His public defender, Michelle Tong, said there was no reason Boling should have been pursued in the first place.

“Walking away while homeless is not a crime,” Tong said. “A hunch is not a good enough reason to chase someone through traffic and pummel him into submission.”

Boling faced eight felony charges in the case, including two counts of assault on an officer, one count of brandishing a knife on an officer and five counts of resisting arrest.

Boling sustained severe bruising in the incident and his eye was swollen shut.

Jurors deliberated less than a day before reaching a not-guilty verdict, Aparton said.

Public Defender Jeff Adachi said a citizen is not required to remain with a police officer unless they are being detained, and to detain someone police must have reasonable suspicion of a crime.

Boling was reportedly released from jail Monday, and the bicycle that was found at the scene was determined not to have been stolen.Bay Area NewsCrimeCrime & CourtsJoshua BolingSan Francisco Police DepartmentSan Francisco Public Defender's Office

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Passengers ride the 14-Mission Muni bus on Friday, March 12, 2021. (Jordi Molina/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Transit officials fear Free Muni pilot could hurt already-strained service levels

Supporters say fare cuts could increase ridership, help low-income residents

The vacant property at 730 Stanyan St. in the Haight currently houses a safe sleeping site for the homeless. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Affordable housing project on former McDonald’s site delayed as city adds units

The start of construction on an affordable housing project on the site… Continue reading

Visitors read a notice hanging on the Polk Street entrance to City Hall on Thursday, March 26, 2020, shortly after the building was closed. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City Hall reopening to the public on June 7 after long closure due to COVID-19

San Francisco will reopen City Hall to the public on June 7… Continue reading

Historic streetcars are undergoing testing on The Embarcadero to prepare for their return to service on May 15.<ins></ins>
What to expect for Muni Metro’s relaunch on May 15

Significant service restoration includes downtown subway tunnels and historic streetcars

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) and running back Raheem Mostert (31) celebrate after Mostert scores his fourth rushing touchdown in the third quarter as the 49ers take on the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
49ers on prime-time TV five times in 2021

Usually a team that finishes in last place and won only six… Continue reading

Most Read