San Francisco residents are enraged after a viral video showed a white man spraying a Black homeless woman with a water hose.
In the Jan. 9 video containing thousands of views, the man identified as Collier Gwin, owner of Foster Gwin Art& Antiques, was seen casually leaning up against a railing in front of the Barbarossa Lounge, spraying a homeless woman, who he identified as “Cora.”
While being sprayed, the homeless woman attempted to talk back to Gwin. He turned off the hose and pointed off in the distance, telling her to move.
“Hey, just move, move, move, okay?” he asked. “You’re going to move?”
— #briochesf (@briochesf) January 9, 2023
Commenters noticed the incident happened in front of the Barbarossa Lounge and thought it was where he worked, informing them of the incident. The restaurant took to Instagram to give a statement, clarifying that Gwin wasn’t an employee of theirs.
“Barbarossa Lounge has been made aware of a video that has begun to circulate on social media, which was filmed outside of our small business,” the statement read. “Barbarossa is in no way associated with the inhumane actions portrayed in the video. Upon investigation, it appears the actions are those of a neighboring business owner.”
Barbarossa Lounge ended the statement by stating they shared viewers’ disappointment.
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In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Gwin said that the Black woman acted violently toward him before he hosed her.
“I said you have to move; I cannot clean the street; move down,” he explained. “She starts screaming belligerent things, spitting, yelling at me…At that point, she was out of control…I spray her with the hose and say move, move. I will help you.”
San Francisco’s District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin called the incident an “unconscionable assault” and tweeted that they have been trying to get the homeless woman help for months, but she declined. According to KRON 4, Barbarossa’s owners have contacted city officials and social services to assist the woman, but she made it crystal clear that she didn’t want help and wanted to be left alone.
Ended today’s @sfbos mtg to see this unconscionable assault. @SFPDCentral is compiling a full police report & soliciting witness statements to ensure this man is charged. My office is well acquainted w/ the victim + have been trying for many months to get her support from @SF_DPH https://t.co/hQcbbnnaoG
— Aaron Peskin (@AaronPeskin) January 11, 2023