A viral video showing a local business owner spraying an unhoused woman with a garden hose has sparked outrage in San Francisco.
Edson Galvez said he was making a delivery when one of his employees saw what was happening, pulled out his phone, and caught the stunning scene.
“I started recording the guy and this guy is like pouring water on plants, and then I saw the lady like this and I was like, ‘oh no, that’s a lady,’” he said.
In the video that was first posted to TikTok, the man with the hose can be heard arguing with the woman but you can’t make out the specifics.
Larry Maroney was working a construction job nearby and also saw what was happening.
“I see a guy hosing the girl down and I thought it was not right,” he said. “So I went over to say, ‘what’s up?’ because I was going to take the hose and spray him.”
The man with the hose is Collier Gwin, owner of an antique shop and gallery.
The gallery was closed Tuesday, but NBC Bay Area was able to speak to him through the speaker in the door.
Gwin claims he, and much of the neighborhood, actually knows the woman in the video decently well.
“The whole neighborhood is a part of this situation,” he said. “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 said he’s sympathetic to her situation and has called the police and city social services multiple times when, he says, she becomes disruptive.
“There’s absolutely nothing that can be done. They’ll take her to a shelter, and they will turn her out in two days,” said Gwin. “They will take her to the hospital, they will release her within a day.”
He didn’t say why he decided to spray her with a hose.
Galvez, the man that posted the video, said he also knows the woman because he owns a business nearby.
“Okay, that lady doesn’t go inside the business,” he said. “She sleeps on the street, but she’s very calm, yeah. I was putting quarters on the parking meter right now and she was passing by.”
Maroney said he did confront Gwin for spraying the woman.
“I can understand both parties,” he said. “I feel sorry for the tenant, I feel sorry for the lady. But the police had come out one time and he said there’s nothing they can do.”
The police went to the scene to try to talk to Gwin but officers said he didn’t answer.
They said it remains an open investigation and they would not comment on any possible charges.
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Source: NBC Bay Area