A frustrated San Francisco art gallery owner has gone viral after video circulated of him turning his garden hose on a homeless woman who was sitting on the sidewalk in front of his establishment.
The gallery owner, identified as Collier Gwin, could be seen leaning against a fence and spraying her with a hose while she shouted back at him. The video was recorded by Edson Garcia, co-owner of the nearby Brioche Cafe, who said that she was yelling back at Gwin that she would move.
San Francisco man sprays a homeless person with a hose after she refuses to move from the sidewalk. pic.twitter.com/vnBmgJpwEJ
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“I turned to the side and saw the guy pouring water to the lady,” Garcia said, adding that he recognized the woman because he had seen her on the streets there before — and he said that to his knowledge, she had never been a problem.
“It was cold and raining. She was screaming saying ‘ok I’ll move I’ll move!’ It’s not fair to see people doing stuff like that,” Garcia continued.
According to a report from the local San Francisco ABC affiliate, Gwin resorted to using the hose only after multiple attempts to get the woman off the street — and to get her help — had resulted in brief and temporary assistance at best.
“I totally understand what an awful thing that is to do, but I also understand what an awful thing it is to leave her on the streets,” he said, noting that police had been called multiple times. Each time, she had been taken to a shelter or jail for a day or two at a time, only to come back to the same streets afterward.
“We called the police. There must be at least 25 calls to police. It’s two days in a homeless shelter, it’s two days in jail, and then they drop them right back on the street,” Gwin added, claiming that he had only picked up the hose to spray her when she refused to leave and wouldn’t accept his offer to help her move her belongings to a different part of the street. “This woman is a very, very sad situation. She’s very psychotic.”