SF DA issues arrest warrant for gallery owner accused of hosing woman – San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco police on Wednesday arrested Collier Gwin, the gallery owner who was captured on video spraying a homeless woman with a garden hose after he said she refused to move from a sidewalk he was cleaning.

Gwin will be charged with misdemeanor battery “for the alleged intentional and unlawful spraying of water on and around a woman experiencing homelessness” on Jan. 9, District Attorney Jenkins said in a statement released after she had reviewed evidence from the San Francisco Police Department.

“The alleged battery of an unhoused member of our community is completely unacceptable,” Jenkins continued. “Mr. Gwin will face appropriate consequences for his actions.”

She added that the subsequent vandalism of Foster Gwin Gallery, which had a door smashed and boarded up two days after the video went viral, was also “unacceptable and must stop.”

Gwin was arrested around 3:30 p.m. at or near his gallery. If convicted, Gwin faces up to six months in county jail and a $2,000 fine.

As of last week, the woman, known in the area as Q, was hospitalized, but her current situation Wednesday wasn’t immediately clear.

On Tuesday, nearly a week after the event, Gwin apologized, saying he was committed to making amends. He previously said he found it “hard to apologize.”

A person who answered the intercom at Foster Gwin Gallery at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday said Collier Gwin was not there. The gallery front window had been replaced — and a sheet was draped over the window from the inside.

Merchants in nearby businesses had strong opinions about the incident and some appeared startled to hear that an arrest warrant had been issued. Most did not want to comment.

One worker from a nearby business objected to the arrest warrant, saying she empathized with Gwin but disapproved of his actions in the video. She was familiar with the unsheltered woman, who shop keepers have said screamed and caused disturbances in the neighborhood.

“He probably just broke,” the worker said. “Because she’s right in front of his place.”

Chris C., a worker at Filson, a nearby clothing store, said he suspects the scene captured in the video showing Gwin spraying the woman is “not an isolated incident,” but an apt representation of San Franciscans’ interactions with the city’s unhoused population.

“I know other businesses in the area have had issues with homelessness,” he said, criticizing the city for “not getting a handle on it.”

He said he had seen the woman “a day or so” after the video surfaced.

She was surrounded by firefighters and paramedics, he said.

Alex Sakiyama, a neighborhood resident who was also familiar with the woman, shrugged upon hearing about the warrant for Gwin, who he said had been “unrepentant” after the hosing before eventually apologizing.

“You shouldn’t spray people with hoses. That seems like common sense,” Sakiyama said.

San Francisco Chronicle staff writer Michael Cabanatuan contributed to this report.

Rachel Swan is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: rswan@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @rachelswan

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