SF gallery owner filmed spraying unhoused person with hose arrested, charged with misdemeanor

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Thursday, January 19, 2023
SF gallery owner who sprayed unhoused person arrested
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The San Francisco art gallery owner, Collier Gwin, who was filmed hosing down an unhoused person last week has been arrested, according to police.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Collier Gwin, the gallery owner who sprayed down a homeless individual earlier this month, was arrested Wednesday after San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins issued a misdemeanor battery arrest warrant.

Jenkins said on Twitter, "The alleged battery of an unhoused member of our community is completely unacceptable..."

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"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," said Alex Sakiyama who lives in the area.

Sakiyama is familiar with the person sprayed, often hearing 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," said Sakiyama.

We spoke with Gwin right after the incident who at first did not apologize but then, days later, did offer remorse for what he had done.

VIDEO: SF art gallery owner apologizes hours after forum held condemning him for spraying unhoused person

While many have had feelings of outrage watching the video.

"I was shocked, definitely disappointed," said one woman who works in the area.

"We have a problem but that's not the way to solve it," said John Schram who lives nearby.

Some told us there are major problems on the streets of San Francisco.

While outside of Collier Gwin's gallery, a man who appeared to be intoxicated set up outside the door.

RELATED: Art gallery owner who hosed down homeless person in SF finds it 'hard to apologize'

Some in the area say the situation built up to the hosing incident.

"It got messy. She was messy. There was food all over the sidewalk, a big mess and she screamed a lot and we could hear it in the building. It was tough, that woman needs help," said another woman who lives nearby.

Neighbors tell us they have not seen the unhoused person who was sprayed since all of this happened. Collier Gwin was booked at 5:37 p.m. Wednesday. We have reached out to him and his family to get their take on things but have not heard back.

San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins issued this statement:

Following the San Francisco Police Department's investigation and reviewing all the evidence provided, my office has issued an arrest warrant for Collier Gwin. Gwin will be charged with misdemeanor battery for the alleged intentional and unlawful spraying of water on and around a woman experiencing homelessness on January 9, 2022.

The alleged battery of an unhoused member of our community is completely unacceptable. Mr. Gwin will face appropriate consequences for his actions. Likewise, the vandalism at Foster Gwin gallery is also completely unacceptable and must stop - two wrongs do not make a right.

RELATED: Viral video of hosed unhoused person raises concerns, questions for help for mentally ill

On background:

  • Although the victim did not seek to file charges in this case, the evidence gathered was sufficient to proceed with charging Mr. Gwin of misdemeanor battery (242 PC)
  • The District Attorney's Office issued an arrest warrant for Collier Gwin
  • Arrest warrants issued by the District Attorney's Office are different from "Ramey" warrants issued by the courts for arrest. DA warrants include the criminal complaint and specific charge(s) and/or allegations the individual is facing. Ramey warrants are issued by the court when law enforcement agencies provide sufficient probable cause for an arrest.
  • If convicted, Mr. Gwin faces up to six months in county jail and a $2,000 fine
  • Once Mr. Gwin is arrested/cited his arraignment will be scheduled
  • At the arraignment, Mr. Gwin is expected to enter a plea on each charge presented by prosecutors
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