Video showing a man with a hose spraying a person sitting on an SF sidewalk

A San Francisco artwork gallery proprietor has admitted he fired water from a backyard hose at a homeless particular person on the sidewalk, an episode that sparked outrage after it was captured in a video that bounced across the Web this week.

In an interview Tuesday with The Chronicle, Collier Gwen — proprietor of the Foster Gwen Gallery on Montgomery Road within the posh Jackson Sq. neighborhood — admitted to spraying a homeless lady with water after an encounter through which he mentioned she had delivered trash cans outdoors his residence. Gallery and refused to maneuver.

A San Francisco resident admitted he fired water from a backyard hose at a homeless particular person on the sidewalk, an episode that sparked outrage after it was captured in extensively circulated video this week. Video: Rachel Swan

“I mentioned it’s important to transfer; I am unable to clear up the road,” Gowen mentioned, describing a confrontation late Monday morning with a lady he later recognized as Cora. ​​“She began shouting aggressive issues, spitting, yelling at me…at that time She was so uncontrolled… I hose her down and say transfer, transfer. I’ll allow you to. “

A chef from a close-by bakery documented the encounter and posted the footage on-line shortly thereafter. By mid-afternoon on Tuesday, the video had 10.7 million views on Twitter and had been shared 1000’s of occasions. It shocked and amazed many observers, a few of whom referred to as the filmed work “terrible” and “disgusting”. The house owners of Barbarossa Lounge, a enterprise clearly identifiable within the video, issued a press release condemning Gwin’s habits and deeming it “inhumane”.

“I do not care how pissed off somebody is, that is not how human beings deal with different human beings,” Aaron Peskin, chairman of the board of supervisors that features the Jackson Sq. neighborhood, mentioned Tuesday evening. “It is unreasonable, it is abuse.”

Peskin mentioned his workplace had tried to assist the lady, whom he knew as “Q,” for a number of years. He mentioned she was well-known within the neighborhood.

Legal professionals for the ACLU and the Legal professionals Committee for Civil Rights issued a press release, asserting that San Francisco
Homelessness insurance policies
Create situations of abuse like these proven within the video.

“Violence like this one takes place within the context of presidency, society and the press taking part within the scapegoating of the unhoused inhabitants, treating them as in the event that they had been objects to be swept away, imprisoned and harassed,” the assertion learn.

Within the Chronicle interview, Gwen complained that the lady behaved erratically and had a bent to go away her belongings on the sidewalk. He referred to himself as a “hero” who tried to assist her by letting her sleep in his doorway for a number of days, calling social companies and reaching out to police officers in an effort to get assist for her. However he mentioned the scenario solely obtained worse.

He mentioned the ladies refused to go away the realm, had been usually belligerent and infrequently turned over garbage bins which he then needed to clear up.

“You understand, spraying it is not the reply,” he mentioned, “however spraying it was one thing that woke her up, and it calmed her.” “So am I sorry? I’m solely sorry that… my approach of serving to her hasn’t completed something immeasurably.”

Division representatives mentioned in a press release that cops from Central Station arrived shortly after Monday afternoon, responding to information of a potential assault. The assertion mentioned the officers “met a male suspect and a sufferer who was concerned in a dispute.” Police mentioned they interviewed each people and so they refused to “take additional police motion.” The officers filed a police report. Peskin mentioned police are investigating the case.

As well as, staff from the San Francisco Disaster Response Group arrived and offered companies to the lady, who was referred for follow-up help, in accordance with the discharge.

Gwen walked with a Chronicle reporter on Tuesday to the place the lady was — close to his gallery, on Washington Road. There, somebody was huddled within the doorway, lined in blankets. She appeared like the identical lady from the video.

Addressing her as “Corra,” Gwen clicks on the bundle of blankets.

He mentioned, “Discuss to me, please.” The one that confirmed up requested to be referred to as “Sir”, then yelled at Gwen that she was planning on calling a lawyer. When the Chronicle reporter approached, she waved and mentioned, “Have a superb one, sir.”

Minutes later, when Gwen confirmed the viral video of Michael Imperial, co-owner of the close by Tricolore Caffee & Pizzeria, Imperial winced and put his head in his arms. Though Imperial mentioned he was conscious of the lady within the video, and that she had triggered disturbances on the street, he appeared repulsed by Gwen’s actions.

“Collier!” shouted Imperial. “This isn’t good!”

The viral footage was the newest in a collection of native movies depicting controversial interactions between San Francisco residents and the homeless which have put the town within the highlight.

Monday’s incident wasn’t the primary time a resident or a corporation doused a homeless particular person with water. in 2015,
Sprinklers put in in vast doorways
From St Mary’s Cathedral individuals attempting to camp there satiated, leaving piles of blankets, garments and different garbage behind.

Google evaluations of the Foster Gwin present fell to a mean of 1 star on Tuesday morning, with dozens of customers on-line pointing to the video.

Edson Garcia, the chef at Brioche SF, posted the video and later informed The Chronicle that he was doing deliveries by the bakery’s catering enterprise when he witnessed the Khartoum incident. Recording began instantly.

He mentioned, “I used to be shocked.” “It is loopy how individuals can act. I do know that woman.”

Shortly after filming the incident, Garcia posted the video to TikTok beneath BriocheSF, although the unique TikTok video has since been deleted. Nevertheless, the video was re-posted beneath the viral Twitter account referred to as Clown World.

Garcia mentioned he hoped the video would converse louder than it was able to in the intervening time, since he was within the automobile through the recording and the sunshine had already turned inexperienced.

Authorized specialists mentioned the spray might quantity to battery beneath California legislation, the place spitting or throwing a drink at somebody is prohibited, for instance. Prosecuting such a case with out the sufferer’s help is feasible however troublesome.

State legislation defines battery as “the intentional and illegal use of pressure or violence towards one other particular person.” It’s usually charged together with assault, which is outlined as “an illegal try, mixed with current capability, to commit violent damage to a different particular person.”

Misdemeanor offenses carry a penalty of as much as six months in jail and a $1,000 nice. Assaults that trigger critical damage will be charged as felonies punishable by two years or extra in state jail.

Specialists mentioned that until the spraying was unintentional, the person might solely defend himself by displaying that he had an trustworthy and affordable perception that he was stopping hurt to himself, his property, or anybody else, and that there was no affordable risk of escape or prevention. Hurt solely by utilizing pressure.

Sally Vicciarelli, a Fresno lawyer who handles assault and battery circumstances firmly, informed The Chronicle that the video offered a transparent case of battery.

“Any try at protection is futile, provided that now we have a recording of the occasion,” she mentioned. We are able to hear her objections and largely, his remarks after spraying the lady, ‘Hey, simply transfer, transfer! He additionally factors in one other route. His phrases and actions after spraying the lady present that he supposed to make her transfer, and spraying him with water is like pushing her.”

San Francisco Chronicle employees author Bob Igleko contributed to this report.

San Francisco Chronicle writers Rachel Swan and Annie Feinstein. E mail:,, Twitter: @rachelswan, @annievain

Leave a Comment