A person who was apprehended for hosing a homeless woman in California may face imprisonment for their actions.
A video of Collier Gwin, the owner of Foster-Gwin Art & Antiques in San Francisco, became widely circulated on last Tuesday (January 10) after he was captured on film using a hose to spray a homeless woman in the street.
The video was shared on Twitter and has quickly gained 13 million views since its posting, with many viewers describing the incident as "inhumane," "inexcusable," and "cruel."
In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Gwin recounted the events that led to him using water to spray the woman: "I said you have to move; I cannot clean the street; move down."
He continued: "She starts screaming belligerent things, spitting, yelling at me... At that point she was so out of control... I spray her with the hose and say 'Move, move. I will help you'."
Following an investigation by the San Francisco Police Department, District Attorney Brooke Jenkins released a statement on the incident today (January 19).
She posted to Twitter: "Following San Francisco Police Department's investigation & reviewing all the evidence provided, my office has issued an arrest warrant for Collier Gwin. Gwin is charged w/ misdemeanor battery for the alleged intentional & unlawful spraying of water on & around a woman experiencing homelessness on 1/9/23."
Jenkins continued: "The alleged battery of an unhoused member of our community is completely unacceptable. Mr. Gwin will face appropriate consequences for his actions."
Jenkins also addressed the public condemnation of Gwin's actions, and condemned those who were taking matters into their own hands.
"Likewise, the vandalism at Foster Gwin gallery is also completely unacceptable and must stop - two wrongs do not make a right," she concluded.
The San Francisco Police Department also released a statement on the arrest: "On January 18, 2023, at approximately 3:30 p.m. Gwin was arrested on the 700 block of Montgomery Street for the warrant. Gwin was transported to the San Francisco County Jail where he was booked for the arrest warrant on the charge of battery (242 PC)."
"While an arrest has been made, this remains an open and active investigation," it concluded.
Initially, Gwin maintained a steadfast position regarding the incident.
When asked by the Chronicle if he was remorseful for his actions, the gallery owner responded:
"You know, spraying her's not the solution, but spraying her was something that woke her up and that calmed her down.
"So am I sorry? I'm only sorry that... my way of helping her countlessly has gotten nothing done."
However, later he issued an apology during a KPIX local radio show, stating: "I'm very, very sorry, I'm not going to defend myself, I'm not going to, because I can't defend that."
If found guilty, Gwin may face the consequences of a sentence of six months in jail and a fine of $2,000 (approximately £1,622).