San Francisco gallery owner Collier Gwin, who hosed down a homeless woman who had parked herself outside his store, has been arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery just hours after the city’s district attorney’s office announced he would face charges.
(Video Credit: KPIX CBS SF Bay Area)
The incident was caught on video and went viral, becoming a high-profile flashpoint for leftists. Gwin is currently being held on a misdemeanor charge over the January 9 incident following his arrest, according to police.
He owns the Foster Gwin art gallery in an upscale district that has attracted clientele such as actor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Evidently, the DA is seeking to make an example of him, more so than dealing with rampant homelessness in the city, it would seem.
The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office issued a statement announcing that a warrant for Gwin’s arrest had been issued earlier in the day, following public outcry over the woman getting doused in 49-degree weather.
After the video went viral, individuals went on a search to find out who the man was that sprayed the woman down, according to the Daily Mail. Gwin was identified and it was enough to get him arrested Wednesday evening.
— #briochesf (@briochesf) January 9, 2023
If he is found guilty, Gwin could get six months in jail and a $2,000 fine.
“The alleged battery of an unhoused member of our community is completely unacceptable,” San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins declared.
Jenkins stated that the victim was not looking to press charges against Gwin. For Gwin’s part, he’s standing by his actions because he asked the woman to move and she reportedly became belligerent and refused.
That’s not stopping a politically motivated DA from going after Gwin over the altercation, “Mr. Gwin will face appropriate consequences for his actions.”
Following @SFPD's investigation & reviewing all the evidence provided, my office has issued an arrest warrant for Collier Gwin. Gwin is charged w/ misdemeanor battery for the alleged intentional & unlawful spraying of water on & around a woman experiencing homelessness on 1/9/22.
— Brooke Jenkins 謝安宜 (@BrookeJenkinsSF) January 19, 2023
Jenkins has come under fire for soft-on-crime policies as crime rages through San Francisco. But this is one person she’s more than willing to go after.
“The vandalism at Foster Gwin gallery is also completely unacceptable and must stop,” the DA lamely declared, before admonishing individuals in the homeless encampment-filled city, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”
Gwin, 71, was cuffed and put in a patrol car at approximately 3:30 pm at or near his gallery. He refused to hide from the public over his actions and the police knew exactly where to find him when the DA decided to make a public example of him.
“I’ve been here for 40 years,” Gwin told The San Francisco Chronicle in an interview. “We have tons of homeless [people]. But they haven’t been in a situation where they get that violent [within] 10 days of the neighborhood trying to do something. We have been able to get them taken to a shelter, which they leave immediately.”
CITY HALL FAILED. Yes this is certainly an unfortunate incident. However, Collier Gwin is frustrated as are hard working, overtaxed SF residents and business owners; we are the victims. The woman sprayed w water is a pawn. City Hall, CoH, NGOs are instigators, failures, frauds. pic.twitter.com/FJrOZ46ltp
— Richie Greenberg (@richieSF2016) January 11, 2023
“I’ve listened to her talk to the people and saying, ‘No, this is the way I want to live. My idea of cleanliness is not your idea of cleanliness,” the reporter says in the video.
“That’s fine, as long as she knows what she’s saying,” Gwin responded.
In the interview, Gwin admits to being the one who hosed the woman down. He claims that she then became psychotic and was turning over garbage cans.
“I said you have to move, I cannot clean the street, move down,” Gwin recounted to The Chronicle. “She starts screaming belligerent things, spitting, yelling at me… at that point she was so out of control… I spray her with the hose and say, ‘Move, move. I will help you.'”
“You know, spraying her’s not the solution, but spraying her was something that woke her up, and that calmed her down,” Gwin contended. “So am I sorry? I’m only sorry that… my way of helping her countlessly has gotten nothing done.”
Previously, Gwin had allowed the woman to camp out on the sidewalk for days at a time. He called the police and other government services to try and get her help, all to no avail.
“I said she needs psychiatric help,” Gwin commented in the interview. “You can tell, she’s pulling her hair, she’s screaming, she’s talking in tongues, you can’t understand anything she says, she’s throwing food everywhere.”
Reverend Amos Brown, who is the president of the local chapter of the NAACP, feels Collier Gwin doesn’t deserve to be charged criminally. Brown personally connected with Gwin who apologized, according to CBS News.
NEW: San Francisco police have arrested Collier Gwin, the gallery owner who was captured on video spraying a homeless woman with a hose. pic.twitter.com/QPktPobHok
— Heather Knight (@hknightsf) January 19, 2023
“Mr. Gwin admitted his wrong, he admitted it to me personally and I accepted,” Brown stated.
Brown added the City of San Francisco needs to take the blame for this incident between a business owner and a homeless person escalating the situation to this level.
“I think that this city has been negligent, has played too much politics around this issue of the unhoused,” the reverend asserted.
He believes it’s not an option to leave the homeless on the streets without addressing mental health or drug addiction issues.
The number of homeless people on the streets of San Francisco has exploded to almost 8,000 as of last February according to the Daily Mail. It is surely higher than that now.
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