Andrew Furst, the 26-year-old man who was shot multiple times by a police officer after he allegedly assaulted the officer with a large shard of glass in December, appeared in court for a preliminary hearing last week. Furst’s criminal proceedings are currently on hold while the court determines if he is competent to stand trial.
Last month, Judge James Voysey appointed two physicians to evaluate Furst, who has an extensive criminal record and a history of mental illness. Last week, one doctor determined he was mentally capable of understanding his case and the other determined he was not. Judge Voysey appointed a third doctor to review his record — not necessarily required if two doctors disagree — and Voysey is expected to make a decision in two weeks.
One night last December, Furst reportedly became agitated and combative shortly after being admitted to a sober living facility on San Andres Street. Several officers and a K-9 unit responded to the scene after receiving several 9-1-1 calls of a subject brandishing a weapon. It’s unclear exactly how the incident unfolded, but according to an SBPD press release at the time, Furst assaulted a police officer with a large shard of glass before the officer shot him multiple times. Furst suffered three gunshot wounds: one to his chest, another to his abdomen, and a third to his right leg above his knee. He had also been tased by an officer and bitten by the K-9 unit.
Following the incident, Furst was treated for life-threatening injuries in Cottage Hospital for 11 weeks before he was released and subsequently booked in County Jail. He remains in custody and continues to receive treatment for potential infection.
In the majority of cases where the defendant is determined incompetent to stand trial, criminal proceeds resume after the person is medicated and treated — for a maximum of three years — in a state hospital. Criminal charges could be dismissed depending on the case and the amount of time it takes the person to be restored to competency.
Furst has an extensive criminal history — including charges of assault, vandalism and false imprisonment — and has spent time in Santa Cruz and Colorado (where he’s from) and has been hospitalized several times for mental illness. He was also reportedly homeless for some time.
Upon release from the hospital last month, officers arrested Furst for two outstanding warrants. Furst is charged with assault with a deadly weapon, resisting a police officer, and assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer. The second warrant stemmed from other charges in November and include sexual battery, petty theft, and receiving stolen property. Prosecutor Tony Davis will handle the case, and Furst is scheduled to appear in court again on April 22.