Daniel Hay Lewis,a Hallandale Beach resident charged with criminal transmission of HIV after allegedly trying to bite a police officer while being arrested for shoplifting, doesn't actually have HIV, according to his public defender.
After allegedly trying to steal $12,000 worth of garden products from a Home Depot on May 30, he admitted to stealing the stuff, police say, but didn't exactly want to get arrested.
According to the police report, Lewis attempted to bite the cop "while knowing he was HIV positive," but it was never explained how they knew that he was HIV-positive.
Jason Blank, the assistant public defender representing Lewis, wrote the following letter to the Florida Independent:
Daniel is innocent of these charges. We have obtained reliable evidence that Daniel is not, nor has ever been infected with HIV. It is clear that the officer's sworn allegations of Daniel's infection with HIV is not only a lie and highly illegal, but is being used to cover-up the excessive use of force during his arrest. In the end, it will not be Daniel, but rather the officers that will be found Guilty in a court of law.
Blank also tells the Independent that Lewis was tested for HIV after his arrest at the Broward County jail and that those results were negative.
Blank says he's in the process of talking to the State Attorney's Office about the direction of the case.
"My number-one concern is dealing with the prosecution of my client; dealing with the lying cops is secondary," Blank tells the Independent.
Lewis has been charged with criminal transmission of HIV, grand theft, obstructing with violence, and assault on an officer.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to New Times Broward-Palm Beach's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling South Florida's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
He has previously been convicted of grand theft and robbery.