Man who died in police fight wanted for beating 97-year-old

AP News
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Posted: Jul 31, 2015 7:20 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A man who died after a fight with San Francisco police Thursday was wanted in the beating of a 97-year-old who employed him as a caretaker and later died from the attack, authorities said.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday (http://bit.ly/1IukN1B ) that Filimoni Raiyawa, 57, of Sonoma, beat Solomon Cohen in his home early Thursday.

Later that day, Raiyawa got into a car crash and then a brawl with responding officers, authorities said. He struck two of them and then other officers subdued him, Police Chief Greg Suhr said.

He experienced a medical emergency while he was handcuffed and stopped breathing, according to police. He died at the scene.

Two officers were injured in the fight, treated at a hospital and released.

The cause of Raiyawa's death wasn't released Friday but is being investigated by police.

San Francisco Board of Supervisors President London Breed and Supervisor Malia Cohen issued a statement Thursday calling for an independent investigation of Raiyawa's death.

Cohen died of major head injuries Thursday evening.

His daughter, Betsy Hershfield-Cohen, 52, told the Chronicle that she was shocked Raiyawa was accused of killing her father. She said Raiyawa had worked with the family for less than two years but had been dependable and trustworthy.

Raiyawa "was the only caregiver my dad really ever tolerated," Hershfield-Cohen told the newspaper.

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Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com