Arraignment held for man accused of hitting SFPD officer with car

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An arraignment was held Friday afternoon for a man accused of hitting a San Francisco police officer, and leaving him critically injured in the middle of the street. (KGO-TV)

An arraignment was held Friday afternoon for a man accused of hitting a San Francisco police officer, and leaving him critically injured.

Maurice Johnson, 50, has been charged with attempted murder, use of a deadly weapon, assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer, inflicting great bodily injury, battery with serious bodily injury, resisting arrest causing bodily injury, auto theft, possession of stolen property, evading arrest, reckless driving, evading a peaceofficer, driving without a license and resisting arrest, according to police.

Johnson allegedly struck Officer Elia Lewin-Tankel, 32, around 12:20 p.m. on Turk Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street.

Johnson was fleeing from officers who were trying to investigate him for a possible firearm investigation.

Lewin-Tankel, who was on a bicycle patrol at the time of the collision, was taken to San Francisco General Hospital and underwent surgery that afternoon. As of Friday afternoon, Lewin-Tankel remained in the hospital's intensive care unit.

RELATED: Friends say cop hurt in hit-and run 'exemplifies what SFPD is all about'

Johnson's vehicle was found in the area of Buena Vista Park a short time later, prompting a search of that area before he was eventually taken into custody in the 500 block of Ellis Street around 3:30 p.m.

Lewin-Tankel has been with the department since 2012 and was assigned to Tenderloin Station in March 2016. Department officials said he has been recognized numerous times for outstanding police work and received a Purple Heart Award in 2015 for an incident in which he was injured as a direct result of actions he took to protect members of the community.

He recently started law school, volunteers for many community events in the Tenderloin and teaches jiu-jitsu to others in the department and community.

His family members issued a statement through the department asking "everyone to send good energy and prayers for his recovery, which we know will happen, because Elia is a survivor."

Tankel's injuries come as a shock for those who trained with him at the Bay Ju-Jitsu Dojo on Mission Street.

Head trainer, Travis Magalit, credits Tankel with changing his life. "Elia was able to use his influence for me in a situation that could have made it to where I wouldn't be able to do what I'm doing now," he said.

ABC7 News contributed to this story.
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SFPDofficer injuredcar crashaccidentcar accidenthit and runhit and run accidentinvestigationbikesbicyclebicycle crashSan Francisco
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