The San Francisco Police Department said on Wednesday that they had arrested Collier Gwin, the owner of the art gallery caught on camera last week hosing down a homeless woman.
Gwin is being charged with misdemeanor battery for the “intentional and unlawful spraying of water on or near a woman experiencing homelessness,” as stated by San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins. At 3:30 in the afternoon, he was taken into custody on the 700 block of Montgomery Street, right outside his store.
Many in the community rushed to social media to express their outrage at the content of the film, which ultimately disappeared from the web. The Foster Gwin Gallery’s front glass door was broken on Tuesday.
Some of the local shopkeepers were affected by Gwin’s acts and the video as well. The video’s backdrop, Barbarossa Lounge, has been the target of many unjustified online attacks and poor Google reviews. In a statement, the Barbarossa Lounge’s proprietors made it clear that they do not approve of Gwin’s actions. “Barbarossa is not associated with the horrific practices depicted in the video,” the company said.
As a community, we want to hear what you have to say about this viral video. During our 3 PM show we will have a deeper discussion and possible interviews on how to look at this situation. https://t.co/3EvID0RW36
— CBS News Bay Area (@KPIXtv) January 11, 2023
As it turns out, the attackers may have been looking for Gwin when they went after another San Francisco art gallery a few days later. Owners told KRON4 that they are “not linked with Foster Gwin Gallery or its owner Collier Gwin,” acknowledging that “there has been some confusion and misdirected resentment against us among the uproar.”
Gwin explained his behavior to the San Francisco Chronicle in his first interview after the incident: “She starts screaming aggressive things, spitting, yelling at me… She was completely out of control at that moment. When she doesn’t move, I turn on the hose and yell at her. I’m here to lend a hand.
Gwin appeared to have shifted his position after consulting with influential members of the local community. When I see that video, I feel sickened and ashamed. He then told ABC7 News, “I completely broke.” If found guilty, Gwin may be sentenced to up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine.