Man seen on video spraying homeless San Francisco woman with hose tells his side of story

We're hearing from a man who was captured on a video that went viral this week in San Francisco. He's seen spraying a Black homeless woman with a hose as she sits on the sidewalk. 

The video was posted to social media. It takes place on Montgomery Street in the Jackson Square area. The video has sparked outrage and backlash against the man with the hose. 

He's the owner of the Foster Gwin art gallery, Collier Gwin. He said the video only shows part of what happened. "[It shows] how I snapped. And for that, I apologize for tremendously. That's not myself," said Gwin.

Gwin said the homeless woman, who we were unable to contact, showed up in the area about two weeks ago. He said he allowed her to sleep outside on his doorway for four days. 

Gwin said he and other area business owners tried to call police multiple times over her disruptive behavior. He said they tried to get her help but that she refused to leave, and she refused services. 

"Pulling her hair, yelling and screaming, she's psychotic. She's hallucinating," Gwin said.

On Monday morning, Gwin said he was cleaning the street with a hose and repeatedly asked her to move and became frustrated when she refused. That's when, by his own account, he "snapped."

Asked if he regretted that his actions were caught on video, or if he thought what he did was wrong, Gwin said, "I'm totally sorry that I reacted, where I tried to move her and did so in a way that was not the right way."

San Francisco District Supervisor Aaron Peskin represents the district where this transpired. 

"Anybody treating another human being on our streets that way is gut-wrenching and horrible, Peskin said. 

He said the homeless woman is known to both neighbors and authorities both here in this area and in nearby North Beach. 

"I've been in touch with the police. As far as I'm concerned, this is assault," Peskin said. 

The front door of Gwin's business was broken. He said it happened Tuesday afternoon. He said it was backlash for spraying water on the homeless woman. He said three men he doesn't know came to confront him. 

"They smashed the window. I'm not surprised. I understand people getting outraged when they see things like that," said Gwin.

Peskin said police are investigating this matter. He said Gwin should face consequences for his actions. 

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SFPD reamined at the scene throughout the night to ensure there was no violence. They said some businesses in the area that had nothing to do with the incident received threats. 

On Wednesday SFPD Chief William Scott posted on social media about the Montgomery Street incident. "Right now, what we need is civility. If you are frustrated with a situation, please do not act on your anger," Chief Scott wrote. Scott added that the incident has been transferred to the department's investigations bureau. "The process from here is to collect evidence, interview witnesses, develop the case, and present it to the district attorney."  

A San Francisco Fire Department spokesperson said a crisis response team on routine patrol was able to engage the homeless woman which resulted in her accepting city services. 

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