Officers with the San Francisco Police Department on Wednesday arrested a business owner filmed spraying water on a homeless woman sitting in front of his Jackson Square gallery on Jan. 9.
“Following the San Francisco Police Department’s investigation and reviewing all the evidence provided, my office has issued an arrest warrant for Collier Gwin,” San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said in a statement shared with KGO-TV.
Authorities charged Gwin with a misdemeanor battery charge for “the alleged intentional and unlawful spraying of water on and around a woman experiencing homelessness on January 9, 2022,” according to the news release.
Police officers arrived at the gallery at 4 p.m. Wednesday and escorted Gwin to a patrol car. The arrest occurred with no incident, CBS News reported.
“The alleged battery of an unhoused member of our community is completely unacceptable. Mr. Gwin will face appropriate consequences for his actions,” Jenkins said.
The Wednesday arrest comes a week after passers-by filmed Gwin spraying water from a hose on the woman in front of his gallery.
A video of the incident, shared by British journalist Anthony Davis on Twitter, showed the lady sitting against a tree, pleading for Gwin to stop as he sprays her with water multiple times.
“I thought it was really disturbing. I think it’s not okay no matter how bothered you are in any given situation. I think it’s not okay to spray water at someone,” Alex Sakiyama, a neighbor, told KGO-TV.
According to Sakiyama, the woman who was sprayed was a familiar sight in the neighborhood. He told KGO-TV that he would often hear her scream at night.
“She was often naked sleeping here, she would stay around here, yeah. I don’t know if it was bad enough to attack her,” Sakiyama said, according to the news station.
When KGO-TV initially approached Gwin, he refused to apologize, the outlet reported.
However, as the video grew viral, he eventually apologized several times, according to CBS News.
“What they saw is very regrettable,” Gwin said in an interview with KPIX-TV.
“I feel awful, not just because I want to get out of trouble, or something like that, but because I’d put a tremendous amount of effort into helping this woman on the street,” he said.
Should the charges against this business owner be dropped?
“I’m very, very sorry. I’m not going to defend myself; I’m not going to, because I can’t defend that,” he added, according to the outlet.
Gwin faces up to six months jail time and a $2,000 penalty if convicted.
“I’m out there once again cleaning her mess,” Gwin told CBS last week. “Washing it down, trying to clean up stuff, and I just snapped. I was watering around her, and I just snapped, when she went off in her belligerent, tongues and stuff. And I just snapped and I pulled the hose up higher, and I sprayed her.”
“When I look at myself on the film, I can’t even believe that’s me,” Gwin said. “But I didn’t know what else to do. It was getting so frustrating.”
Gwin, a resident of the city for 45 years, told CBS News that he had tried to get the woman help multiple times before the incident, including spending days cleaning up any mess she left behind.
The lady would often push over trash cans and scare off his clients, Gwin said, according to CBS News. The confrontation on Wednesday occurred while he was cleaning a mess she caused, Gwin said, according to CBS News.
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