Man who hosed down homeless woman in San Francisco defends himself

Gallery owner who casually hosed down homeless woman camped outside his upmarket San Francisco business defends himself, saying she had been violent and neighborhood had tried to help her for ten days

  • Collier Gwin, who runs Foster Gwin Gallery, came under fire for his actions 
  • In footage shared on social media he said that the woman was being violent 
  • He appeared to claim that he was part of the community’s efforts to support homeless people

The owner of an art gallery in San Francisco who was caught on camera spraying a homeless woman with a hosepipe has defended his actions.

In footage shared on social media, Collier Gwin, who runs Foster Gwin Gallery in the Financial District, leans against the gate of a restaurant and continues to spray the woman, despite her yelping with discomfort.

Local businesses were quick to condemn his actions, while scores of enraged social media users left dreadful reviews online – causing the gallery’s rating on Google to plunge to just one star.

Discussing the incident, which took place on Monday, Gwin said: ‘I’ve been here for 40 years. We have tons of homeless [people]. But they haven’t been in a situation where they get that violent [within] 10 days of the neighborhood trying to do something. We have been able to get them taken to a shelter, which they leave immediately.’

Pictured: Collier Gwin, who runs Foster Gwin Gallery in the Financial District

Collier Gwin was seen in a now viral video spraying a homeless woman in San Francisco with a hose. The incident occurred on Monday as weather hit a low of 49 degrees

The reporter filming the video said: ‘I’ve listened to her talk to the people and saying, “No, this is the way I want to live. My idea of cleanliness is not your idea of cleanliness.”‘

Gwin replied: ‘That’s fine, as long as she knows what she’s saying.’

After admitting to being the man in the hosepipe video, Gwin also tried to defend his actions yesterday, claiming the woman had become psychotic and was turning over garbage cans.

‘I said you have to move, I cannot clean the street, move down,’ Gwin told The San Francisco Chronicle. 

‘She starts screaming bellingent 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.”‘

He also noted that he has been a ‘champion’ of trying to help her previously.

The chef of Brioche Cafe, who captured the video, said he saw the scene unfold while making an early morning delivery around 6am.

‘I was shocked,’ Edson Garcia told The Chronicle. ‘I know that lady.’

Gwin insisted that he is not sorry for his actions and was trying to ‘help’ her. He said the woman had been staying in front of his gallery for days 

The video has since amassed millions of views. But despite the widespread backlash, Gwin stuck by his actions.

‘You know, spraying her’s not the solution, but spraying her was something that woke her up, and that calmed her down,’ Gwin said. 

‘So am I sorry? I’m only sorry that… my way of helping her countlessly has gotten nothing done.’

Gwin added that before the incident he had allowed her to stay on the sidewalk for days and attempted to call the police and other government services to get her help.

His art gallery has been running since 1984 and brought in A-list clients, such as Schwarzenegger, according to SocketSite. reached out to Gwin for a comment but he wasn’t immediately available. And it now appears the firm’s social media pages have been shut down.

The gallery shares a wall with a restaurant called Barbarossa Lounge, which is where Gwin was seen leaning against a gate in the video.

The gallery shares a wall with a restaurant called Barbarossa Lounge, which is where Gwin was seen leaning against a gate in the video. Gwin is not associated with the restaurant 

Internet sleuths seeking to identify the perpetrator had at first assumed Gwin was associated with the restaurant. But owner Arash Ghanadan debunked the claim as mountains of hate messages flooded in.

‘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,’ Ghanadan told

‘We are extremely disappointed in this individual’s behavior and in no way support such actions. We have been informed that further formal and media investigation is underway.’

Ghanadan added: ‘It’s been a hard time for our business in the past three years with a pandemic. We barely survived that and now our reputation is being ruined by a video that everyone is falsely assuming relates to our business.’

Rows of homeless tents are seen near the City Hall of San Francisco outside residential properties and small business premises earlier this year

About 8,000 homeless people were reported in the city in February  

The video comes amid a growing homelessness crisis in the city. The number of homeless people in San Francisco was tallied in February at almost 8,000, the second highest figure of any year since 2005, according to the official government count which takes place every three years.

Business owners in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood have threatened to stop paying taxes if politicians don’t start cleaning up streets of litter and stopping people from openly taking drugs.

In a letter to city officials in August, The Castro Merchants Association said some of the homeless people in the streets outside their stores had been harassing customers and needed help.

‘They need shelter and/or services and they need them immediately,’ the Merchants Association said.

‘Our community is struggling to recover from lost business revenue, from burglaries and never-ending vandalism/graffiti (often committed by unhoused persons) and we implore you to take action.’

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