San Francisco Art Gallery Owner Arrested, Charged with Battery After Hosing Down Homeless Woman in Viral Video

Gallery owner Collier Gwin was taken into police custody Wednesday after the San Francisco DA's Office issued an arrest warrant for misdemeanor battery in connection with him spraying an unhoused woman with a hose last week.

Officers arrived at Gwin's business on Montgomery Street in Jackson Square around 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon and escorted Gwin peacefully to the back of a patrol car.

The San Francisco District Attorney's Office sent out a press release and DA Brooke Jenkins tweeted about the warrant Wednesday afternoon. According to authorities, Gwin will be "charged with misdemeanor battery for the alleged intentional and unlawful spraying of water on and around a woman experiencing homelessness on January 9, 2022."

Backlash Over Viral Video

Collier Gwin
Collier Gwin (left) and in a still from the video that is being widely circulated on social media. Twitter

A viral video of Gwin spraying the woman with a hose sparked widespread outrage last week. The clip, taken on 9 January, showed Gwin leaning on a railing with his legs crossed as he directed a jet of water at the woman in an effort to get her to move away from his business.

Gwin, the owner of the Foster Gwin gallery, is seen repeatedly shouting "Move!" at the woman, who is seen sitting on the ground next to a trash container surrounded by blankets and other possessions. She attempts to speak to him and raises her left arm to try to block or redirect the water as Gwin sprays it directly at her face.

The video, posted on the TikTok account of a nearby bakery, prompted a major backlash in the city and beyond after it amassed millions of views on social media.

Gwin was originally unremorsefull, telling the San Francisco Chronicle he found it "hard to apologise" and portraying himself as a champion of the homeless for his claimed "tremendous efforts" to get authorities to help the woman.

However, in an interview with ABC7 this week, before his arrest, Gwin was more repentful over the incident. "I know it's very hard to watch. I can only ask others to maybe better understand my breaking point," Gwin said. "This is a large cross to bear."

Gwin Faces 6 Months In Jail

Gwin paid $2,500 bail and was out of police custody by Wednesday evening. He is currently scheduled to make his first court appearance on Feb. 17. The DA's office said if convicted, Gwin faces up to six months in county jail and a $2,000 fine.