SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The San Francisco police officer who was critically injured Wednesday afternoon when he was struck by a suspect driving an SUV has been identified.
According to the police department, Officer Elia Lewin-Tankel remains in critical condition Thursday, still recovering from his surgery Wednesday to treat the serious injuries he sustained. He is in the intensive care unit at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.
Lewin-Tankel has been with the department for five years, according to the Department. He is currently part of the Tenderloin Station’s bicycle beat.
On Wednesday shortly after 12 p.m., Lewin-Tankel and a second officer were were conducting an investigation on Turk Street and observed a suspect in a vehicle who they believed to be in possession of a firearm.
According to acting San Francisco Police Chief Toney Chaplin, the suspect struck Lewin-Tankel with the vehicle he was driving, a tan Lexus SUV, and then fled the scene.
Police said after the suspect struck the police officer on Turk Street, he led them on a chase to the Haight. The suspect abandoned the vehicle on Fell Street next to the Panhandle and ran away.
There was visible damage to the front right fender of the SUV and the car did not have a front license plate.
San Francisco Police tweeted at about 1:30 p.m. for residents to shelter in place in the area of Buena Vista Park as they searched for the suspect.
Officers on foot and on motorcycles combed the park trying to track him down. He was eventually taken into custody at around 3:30 p.m. on the 500 block of Ellis Street in the Tenderloin.
On Thursday, police identified the suspect as 50-year-old Marquise Johnson, who is being held on multiple charges including attempted murder, hit-and-run driving, resisting arrest, evading an officer and a number of stolen property crimes.
According to a statement released by the department, Lewin-Tankel is a respected and well-liked member of the SFPD. In 2015, he was the recipient of the department’s Purple Heart Award as the result of being injured as he took action to prevent the serious injury or death of a member of the community.
Lewin-Tankel has been working at the Tenderloin Police Station since choosing to be assigned there in 2016.
According to the statement, Elia’s family asked “Everyone to send good energy and prayers for his recovery, which we know will
happen, because Elia is a survivor.”