Business owner filmed hosing homeless woman in 'inhumane' act

An art gallery owner has been slammed for his "inhumane" treatment of a homeless woman in an attempt to get her to move from outside his venue.

A nearby cafe in San Fransisco caught him on camera hosing down the woman in a now viral video, prompting outrage from people around the world.

"This is horrible. This awful man is spraying a homeless woman down with a hose. You can hear her yell 'Help Me!'" TV host and writer Stuart Schuffman said on Twitter when sharing the footage.

"This is inhumane and inexcusable."

A photo of an owner of a San Fransisco Art Gallery hosing down a homeless woman outside near his business. Another photo of the man being confronted.
An owner of a San Fransisco Art Gallery has been slammed for hosing down a homeless woman outside near his business. Source: Twitter

The man has since been identified as Collier Gwin from Foster Gwin Gallery — with the business now appearing temporarily closed on Google, as well as their social media being pulled down.

In an interview, Mr Gwin claimed to CBS that he had "put a tremendous amount of effort into helping this woman on the street" and that the sickening act was a result of her knocking over rubbish and frightening his customers.

"I'm out there once again cleaning her mess," Gwin told the outlet. "Washing it down, trying to clean up stuff, and I just snapped. I was watering around her, and I just snapped, when she went off in her belligerent tongues and stuff. And I just snapped and I pulled the hose up higher and I sprayed her."

"When I look at myself on the film, I can't even believe that that's me. But I didn't know what else to do. It was getting so frustrating."

However majority of people online did not think his reasoning was excusable.

Police now compiling report about incident

According to San Fransisco Supervisor, Aaron Peskin, police are now involved and will be addressing what he describes as an "unconscionable assault".

"San Fransisco Police Department (SFPD) is compiling a full police report and soliciting witness statements to ensure this man is charged," he said on Twitter. "My office is well acquainted with the victim and have been trying for many months to get her support from (police)."

"We need SFPD to focus on sustainable plan for residents who are struggling with mental illness and unable to care for themselves."

The neighbouring business seen in the background of the video also felt the need to address the situation.

"Barbarossa Lounge has been made aware of a video that has began to circulate on social media, which was filmed outside of our small business," they said in a statement posted to social media.

"Barbarossa is in no way associated with the inhumane actions portrayed in the video. Upon investigation it appears the actions are those of a neighbouring business owner."

We are extremely disappointed in the individual’s behaviour and in no way support such actions. We have been informed that further formal and media investigation is under way.

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.