No charges for woman who attacked cops

January 23, 2009 12:49:48 PM PST
Prosecutors will not refile assault charges against a 56-year-old mentally ill San Francisco woman who was shot several times by police in 2008, authorities confirmed today.

Police said Teresa Sheehan threatened her social worker and two female police officers with a knife when they went to check on her well-being at her Mission District transitional housing apartment Aug. 7.

The officers first tried pepper spray, but then shot Sheehan multiple times after they said she advanced on them with the knife.

A superior court jury on Dec. 17 acquitted Sheehan of making criminal threats against the officers and deadlocked 11-1 in favor of not guilty on two counts of assaulting a police officer with a deadly weapon and 7-5 in favor of not guilty on two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

Prosecutors announced at a court hearing last Friday that they would not be refiling the deadlocked charges. They had no further comment about the case today.

Sheehan, who is diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and had been refusing medication at the time of the incident, according to her social worker, sat through the trial in a wheelchair, recovering from wounds to her face, hip, chest and arm.

Her attorney Kleigh Hathaway said today that Sheehan has resumed taking her medication and on Thursday was moved from San Francisco General Hospital to a residential housing facility in the city for the mentally ill.

"She's still in a wheelchair, but she is improving slowly," said Hathaway.

Sheehan may have also suffered permanent damage to her right hand, Hathaway added.

Hathaway had maintained the police response was excessive force, and that other officers were just arriving with less-lethal options.

Both officers have since returned to duty.