A man from California named Francisco San has been arrested by authorities on a charge of battery after being seen in a viral video spraying a homeless woman with a garden hose.
To encourage her to progress, Collier Gwin, a 71-year-old owner of an art gallery, was filmed on 9 January leaning against a railing with his legs crossed, directing a stream of water towards the woman.
Advocates and crisis homelessness are outraged by the cold and heartless mistreatment of an individual who is experiencing homelessness. This incident, which occurred in the midst of an escalating homelessness crisis in California and San Francisco, has gained widespread attention on social media platforms, accumulating millions of views. The incident was captured in a video clip posted on a TikTok account belonging to a nearby bakery, and it has sparked a significant backlash within the city.
The Rev Amos Brown, of the Third Baptist church in San Francisco, expressed during a town hall meeting regarding the incident, “It reminded us of a time in Birmingham Alabama when law enforcement used water hoses against civil rights activists in the 1960s.”
According to a statement from the San Francisco police, if found guilty of misdemeanor battery, he could be sentenced to a maximum of six months in prison and be required to pay a fine of $2,000. Gwin was apprehended on Wednesday evening.
The victim did not want the district attorney in San Francisco to press charges, even though there was enough video evidence provided, as stated by the prosecutors.
San Francisco’s district attorney, Brooke Jenkins, stated that Gwin was accused of committing misdemeanor battery “due to the purported deliberate and illegal act of spraying water on and in the vicinity of a woman who is currently homeless” on January 9th.
The owner of the Foster Gwin gallery in the North Beach neighborhood of the city can be seen in the video repeatedly yelling “Move!” At the woman, who is seated on the ground beside a garbage bin, surrounded by blankets and other belongings.
Gwin splashes the water directly onto her face while lifting her left arm in an effort to shield or divert it, and she tries to communicate with him.
Gwin originally told the San Francisco Chronicle that he found it hard to “apologize” and portrayed himself as a tremendous champion of the homeless, claiming his efforts to help women get to the authorities.
In an interview with ABC7 this week, prior to his apprehension, Gwin was more accommodating.
Gwin expressed, “This burden is quite substantial.” Gwin conveyed, “I can only implore others to perhaps gain a deeper comprehension of my breaking point, I acknowledge that it’s exceedingly difficult to witness.”
The Chronicle has reported that the woman, known to homeless advocates as Q, was taken to hospital last week for unknown reasons.
Advocates have said that Aaron Peskin, the district supervisor of San Francisco, stated that he was well acquainted with her work and supported it. They also mentioned that this situation exemplifies a citywide failure to provide appropriate health services.
The city penalizes individuals without homes for residing on the streets, despite a federal lawsuit claiming that the city confiscates their possessions or issues citations for sleeping in public, prohibiting the city from removing makeshift shelters for the homeless. Additionally, the city is prohibited from removing makeshift shelters for the homeless.
The Guardian’s investigations have revealed that unhoused individuals, including the elderly and those with disabilities, have been compelled to leave camps throughout the state without being provided with a workable substitute.
Jennifer Friedenbach, the executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness, stated in an interview with the Guardian last week, “it communicates a strong and unmistakable message to the rest of San Francisco that it is acceptable to engage in such actions,” when they use water to clean areas where individuals are sleeping, when they seize their belongings, and when local authorities remove homeless individuals from their camps.
There have been multiple recent videos of San Francisco residents assaulting individuals without homes.
An instance of malicious destruction damaged a window and triggered an outbreak of negative social media feedback. Gwin has decided to temporarily shut down the gallery and remove its online existence following the occurrence.
Jenkins stated, “Engaging in two incorrect actions does not result in a correct outcome. Similarly, the destruction of property at the Foster Gwin gallery is entirely unacceptable and needs to cease. Mr. Gwin will experience suitable repercussions for his behavior.”