Outrage Erupts After Video Shows San Francisco Man Hosing Unhoused Woman

"They will take her to the hospital, they will release her within a day."

Credit: ABC7/YouTube

A video of a San Francisco art gallery owner, Collier Gwin, using a garden hose to spray an unhoused woman sitting on a nearby sidewalk has caused widespread outrage and controversy.

The footage, which was posted on social media recently, has been viewed nearly 4 million times on the account and has been shared by others. The woman in the video can be heard yelling "Help Me!" as she is being sprayed.

Twitter users were quick to express their disgust and disappointment with Gwin's actions. "This is horrible," one Twitter user wrote. "This awful man is spraying a homeless woman down with a hose. You can hear her yell, 'Help Me!' Does anyone recognize him?... This is inhumane and inexcusable."

When contacted by phone, Gwin did not immediately respond to PEOPLE, but he did tell NBC affiliate KNTV that he had called police and social services regarding the woman, who, he claims, can be disruptive.

"The whole neighborhood is a part of this situation," Gwin told the news station. "The police force is a part of this situation. The city and the social services is a part of the situation. There have been repeated attempts to try to help this woman who is psychotic."

Gwin went on to claim that there was nothing that could be done for the woman, stating that "they'll take her to a shelter, and they will turn her out in two days. They will take her to the hospital, they will release her within a day."

He also stated that he and others in the area had tried to help the woman over the last few weeks after she allegedly blocked entrances and sidewalk paths.

In an interview with ABC affiliate KGO-TV, Gwin claimed that in the moments before the video was filmed, he had tried to help her move her belongings down the street and sprayed her with water when she refused.

"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 told the outlet.

Gwin went on to express remorse for his actions, stating that "I'm very, very sorry, I'm not going to defend myself, I'm not going to because I can't defend that."

He also emphasized that the woman in question needed psychiatric help, and that he and other business owners had frequently called the police in recent weeks due to her behavior.

In a statement to CBS affiliate KPIX, San Francisco police said that both parties had declined further police action, and that the "San Francisco Street Crisis Response Team responded to the scene and provided multiple service options" to the woman.

This incident has sparked a larger conversation about the inadequate resources and support provided to those experiencing homelessness, particularly those struggling with mental health issues.

It has also highlighted the need for more effective and compassionate solutions to addressing homelessness and mental health within communities.

The actions of Gwin in this situation are unacceptable, and it is crucial that we work towards providing better support and resources for those experiencing homelessness and mental health issues.

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