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

Officer Elia Lewin-Tankel poses at the Bay Ju-Jitsu dojo in San Francisco in this undated image. (KGO-TV)

While the Bay Ju-Jitsu dojo on Mission Street in San Francisco buzzes with evening practice, head trainer Travis Magalit is overcome with emotion.

RELATED: Suspect in custody after SF cop hurt in hit-and-run

"Elia is a very good person. A good man, he's done a lot for the community, not just for the martial arts and ju-jitsu community but everything around (him)."

This is where Officer Elia Lewin-Tankel practiced for years, ultimately earning a brown-belt in the martial art. Magalit credits him for changing his life.

"Elia was able to use his influence for me in a situation that could have make it to where I wouldn't be able to do what I'm doing now."

Officer Lewin-Tankel's own life changed forever, when responding on bike to a gun-related case on Turk Street.

That's when police say, the suspect, Maurice Johnson ran him down in a stolen SUV. Johnson has a long rap sheet, and equally long list of charges, including attempted murder.

SFPD chief William Scott describes the 5-year veteran of the force during a press conference today, as a survivor. A man deeply respected by his brothers in blue.

"As tragic and horrific as this is, it has brought us together. He exemplifies what the SFPD is all about."

Lewin-Tankel's family is asking for privacy tonight, and for your positivity, energy and love.

The district attorney has filed charges, and Johnson will be arraigned tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 p.m.
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